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Nerve Burning / Narrowing of the Foramen

After being examined by a specialist and determined to have narrowing of the Foramen I haven been offered two courses of action. The first is considered to be the more conservative and involves RF nerve burning. The doctor didn't give me anything more than that they would give me injections into the facet joints trying to numb as many nerves as they can to identify where the nerve compression seems to be the greatest.

On the other hand I have been working with a known nation wide laser spine institute. They want my business and claim a 96% success rate that I will take with a grain of salt. The bottom line comes down to this: does RF nerve burning work? Is it painful? Successful? What about the exploratory injections? What do I need to know about this and is it viable in the long run as a way of treating the symptoms?

What about the laser method of addressing surgical approach that I hesitate calling a cure? I am told that it is a 5-6 day process and hopefully leads up to the 90 minute surgery. As explained to me it is not the "walk out the same day" procedure as described on TV. What aren't they telling me if I might ask those of you that have already been down this road. I feel that an informed decision needs to be made. I don't want to end up as a statistic of failed procedures and frankly I'm scared.

I ask questions because I want to make an informed decision. I appreciate each of you and the experiences that you have had - good and bad. I have no predetermined decision that I am not sharing at this point.


  • but will be following along with great interest. Healing thoughts and prayers coming your way. {{{HUGS}}}
  • Thank you for at least not Googling it and giving it to me as an answer :-) I am the senior administrator of a rather large site as well and I see it all the time. The show-offs need to do research first. LOL. Today I am OK. The pain level is a managed 2-3 around the clock but at the expense of my Liver and Kidneys.
  • Hi. I know nothing about the Laser Spine other than things I've read here so I can't comment on that. Have you seen other board certified spine surgeons for 2nd, 3rd (at least) opinions? Have others recommended surgery at this point? You make it sound like you haven't considered 'regular' surgery. I'm sorry I haven't been following your history on other posts. :-(

    The conservative approach, RFA is temporary if successful. Some people get great results. I've heard some say they got relief for over a year with lumbar. I've had it done several times with little success but we are all different & you never know until you try. It's well worth having the diagnostic numbing done to see how it feels I think. I had anesthetic so I don't know if the actual procedure hurts. Ice as soon as you can after procedures helps a lot for me with the very common pain flare after these things. I remember holding my crying baby (she was screaming every time I put her down. I was loosing my mind!) after I got home from having it done once. Ugh! Tears were streaming down my face. It's not fun but it's well worth it if it works. One time it was really no big deal at all. Came home, slept off the anesthetic & carried on with my life. No better, no worse. I've had a lot of procedures & don't know why sometimes I'm in agony for a week or 2 & others it's easy-peesey.

    My doc always uses the phrase "Band-Aid" when he talks about that kind of procedure. It's really important to ask surgeons "What can/will happen if I don't have surgery?". Sometimes masking pain is what we really need but it's important to know the long term possible consequences of avoiding surgery. I have permanent nerve damage from a nerve left compressed for way too long (9 years).

    I hope this is what you wanted. I'm going to try to find your other posts....
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • krazybobkkrazybob Posts: 53
    edited 05/09/2015 - 3:37 AM
    I get more scared with each day and a month or more between doctors visits, When I see them it is now more about doing what I am told. I am being told that RF nerve burning is my "band-aid". No other options have been given. I am now on Medi-Cal, having been forced onto it when I tried to change my Anthem / Blue Cross plan. "You qualify so go apply. We aren't allowed to help you..." xxxx I want my insurance back. I don't know why my choices have all been taken away.
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