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Radiofrequency Abulation

Has anyone ever had the abulation where they inject heat into the nerve to deaden them? I am going thru remedial injection now with lidocane and this is the next step to try and get my chronic pain under control. I'm wanting to know how successful this procedure is. I have read it's only 50/50? I have hardware in lumbar L2-5 with daily pain that has very much affected my quality of life. Any info would be appreciated.


  • The only times I've had this done are for S-I joint pain, and they worked really well...lasted about 18-24 months. (The nerves regenerate, unfortunately.) They will generally make you have a couple of injections first to make sure that's the right spot and that it will work.

    Also, if you do have it done...it takes about 1-2 weeks for the nerves to actually die off, so you may not have a good idea of the effectiveness right away. (Plus it hurts when they do it...hurts is relative, but I'm hard to sedate and it wasn't fun sober. I'm pretty sure Versed is about the only substance on the planet I metabolize fast. )
    "There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before." ~Willa Cather
  • ELDmommy3EELDmommy3 St. Louis, MOPosts: 1
    edited 01/28/2016 - 12:12 PM
    I am also interested in any info and experiences with RFA. I am one year out of l4/l5 and l5/s1 discectomies but have had chronic pain since surgery (it did correct the foot drop). I have tried pt, accupuncture, injections and multiple meds with little to no help and have developed significant SI joint pain too. Met with my surgeon yesterday and he recommended RFA.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
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  • Thanks so much. I went thru the diagnotic injections and I'm not sure if my pain is nerve or muscles? I believe they are going to do the abulation! I'm very nervous it will affect my legs and arms! Praying for relief!
  • spinedsspined Posts: 10
    edited 02/23/2016 - 8:44 PM
    I had RF ablation bilaterally L2S1 The relief lasted nearly three years. 
    L3-L4 Laminectomy micro-discectomy 2008
    ALIF L5-S1 2012
    Facet Joint Ablation L2 to S1 2012
    Facet Joint Ablation. L2 to S1 2015
  • armelindarmelind South TexasPosts: 88
    I have Epidural Fibrosis... scarring of the nerves. And one of the treatment options for pain relief was RF Ablation and I received very little if any relief from the procedure.  And dont ever think that a treament can be a cure. Sometimes the treatment can cause damage too. Even when the RF ablation treatment is done right and in the correct place, it is a painful procedure. Nothing is as bad as the back surgery and recovery (at least for me) but it can still cause much discomfort.
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