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RFA C2 C3 C4 about 2 weeks ago. Pain is unbearable

Hello. I had a RFA almost 2 weeks ago on C2 C3 C4 left side. The initial pain was bad. Then it turned.very numb. A very weird sensation on the base of my skull. Now I have unbearable pain and limited mobility  Waiting for my Doctor to get back to me. Has anyone else experienced this? The pain is worse than before the RFA. 



  • Hi - sorry you are experiencing so much pain.  I have had 5 RFAs, one of which was a bilateral C2-C3 and the Third Occipital Nerve.  Almost immediately after the procedure I felt numb all the way up my neck on both sides extending up the back of my head all the way to the top of my scalp.  Over the next week the pain got worse and it felt like the back of my scalp was on FIRE.  Even barely touching the hair on the back of my head was painful, as was trying to lay on a pillow, etc.  My scalp remained numb for about 6 weeks and eventually the burning sensation went away, but it took several weeks.  Ask your doctor for pain meds if you haven't already been prescribed some - RFA can be pretty painful, especially for the first week or two.

  • Thanks for responding  It gave me some insight on what to expect. I had my lower neck done before and it was painful, but not this painful. 

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  • Hann82600, sorry to hear you had so much pain with RFA. I hope by now it’s getting better.  I have severe arthritis in my C2-3 facet joint  and I’ve done pt, injections, massages, and currently pain medication. The doctors have mentioned RFA and last resort to fuse. I’m scared to death of fusing that high up and the range of motion loss.  Seeing your post on your experience makes me rethink my next step to finding relief from this pain in my neck. 

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