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Nerve Ablation

cstaronccstaron Posts: 4
edited 03/26/2015 - 3:40 PM in Chronic Pain
I've been suffering with chronic lower back pain for almost a year now. Have received 3 cortisone shots that gave me relief for about 3-4 weeks each time Then went to pain mgmt doc that gave me a diagnostic facet injection (nerve block) to see if there was any relief. there was (after the injection on each side of the back) but only for about 2 weeks. Decided to go forward with RFE (nerve ablation on 3 of my lower facet joints on right side). had that last friday. While there is some relief from my usual pain, I now have this deep searing pain between my spine and right side of buttock. I am so depressed because I thought that the RFA would give me relief. Doc stated that pain could take 3 months to go away while nerves are "dying". Going back for same procedure on my left side in 2 weeks (doc could not do both sides at once due to difficulty in seeing the nerves). There is no reason for the pain. have had xrays and MRI which shows mild arthritis (nothing unusual for a 50 year old woman) and discs look great. The worst part is not knowing what is causing the pain. I'm scared to death that this will be my "new normal". Please write if you have had similar. Looking for some hope.

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 03/26/15 21:40 est


  • I had severe reaction to dexamethasone 10 mg and I weigh 116 and it was a horrible experience. The injections did not work and now I have been told they cannot do nerve ablation as I am very petite and doc said no room in the thoracic area to to the procedure and its risky. Is this true?
    Unrelenting pain
  • unrelenting painuunrelenting pain Posts: 20
    edited 03/29/2015 - 3:12 AM
    has anyone been sent for a bone scan after mri shows herniated t10-t11 with cord compression. Is there a chance a compression fracture was missed on mri? I have been in 24/7 thoracic pain since Dec '13 and cannot seem to get answers. Have large swelling and lesion over that area but spine doc has NEVER examined my back so is this normal? I am going crazy with the pain. Please help.
    Unrelenting pain
  • RF Ablation is a procedure that intentionally injures nerves to prevent pain signals from being sent to and processed by the brain. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure reserved for those with chronic pain who have not found relief from more conservative treatment methods. I believe that this procedure is helpful to some degree for around 70% of those who receive it. That being said, this treatment is NOT a permanent solution. It is what I label, a "Band-Aid fix." Over time (1- 2 years), your nerves will heal and that same pain WILL return. It is important to remember that this procedure is a treatment that addresses the symptom of pain, not the initial causes of that pain. This procedure can make your pain level worse (if done incorrectly and the targeted nerve is damaged) and it 100% will make your level of pain worse before making it any better (up to a month or 2 before experiencing any relief). Others don't ever see ANY improvement.

    Make a list of questions and speak with your Surgeon.


    Doug Hell
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
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