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Had radio frequency ablation with great results

That was several years ago after my lower back pain was coming from my SI joint.

Now I'm in need of the ablation procedure and am using a new pm since the one who did the first one is out on leave.

This place is telling me I have to have 2 medial branch blocks ..yes 2 before the insurance will approve it.

I am going to call the insurance company myself​ to find out.

I have BCBS PPO insurance and wondering if anyone else was required to go through 2 of these medial branch blocks if the first one gave 80 percent relief.

I don't really trust this place but I have to get this done and don't want to start over finding a new pm .

I like the doctor it's the office staff that ate not the sharpest knives in the drawer.




  • hi ouches

    welcome to spine-health

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • I have BCBS in North Carolina.  Their policy does require the two blocks before they'll consider further action.  And even then, it may be considered investigational and not medically necessary.  BCBS across the country doesn't seem to care about back pain.

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  • robmjrrobmj Posts: 44
    edited 04/27/2018 - 2:12 AM

    Hi - yes, I was required to have the two caudal ESIs before each of my ablations (I've had SI joint pain - Ankylosing Spondylitis - for 23 years). Hope it helps to know this is normal procedure. Also, 80 percent is a great result, so the RFA will hopefully help you. Best of luck!

  • I had to have the block before my first RFA but have had only one PM Dr. doing this procedure every year. I always get any spinal injections, RFA under live x-ray of course. 

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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