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radio frequency lesioning

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Hello Everyone,

I went and saw my Pain managemnet Dr. yesterday, 10/9/2008, for a second opionion on my MRI and he suggested a procedure called radio frequency lesioning. My Pain managemnet Dr has given me 5 SI Joint injections between March 2008-September 2008. Each one of these gives me about a month or so of relief. After I get them the pain goes away almost immediately but comes back just as bad(or worse sometimes) within 30-45 days. I had an MRI done at a Nuerosurgeons office and he explained the results to me on 10/7/2008. He said the results were not good and he said the pain was coming from the bottom 3 desiccated discs and not the siatic nerve. He sugessted PT and basically said there wasnt anything that could be done other than PT and possibly some meds. I show the same MRI to the Pain Managment Dr and he says the MRI doesnt look to bad and the pain is coming from the siactic nerve. He based that opionion due to the fact that when i get the SI Joint injection the pain goes away. So thats 2 opionions and they both differ. Frustrating, it just makes me wonder...

So after the long story....My question is has anyone had this radio frequency lesioning and what were your results?


Tom Jackson


  • Hi, Tom. I have had three rhizotomies done; two in 2006 from L2 to S1, bilaterally, and another a year ago for segments of my cervical, thoracic AND lumbar/SI joints, also bilaterally.

    My neurosurgeon did the procedure, and I was put under a general anaesthetic for it; I think in the U.S. they keep you awake for it. Basically, they put you under a low dose x-ray and "stun" the sensory nerves with a heated needle (like cauterizing them). The pain right afterwards, for me, was unbelievable; those nerves do NOT like to be messed with, but I had between six weeks and six months of relief from my low back/neck/SI pain.

    I'm currently on a drug trial, so have turned down a 4th rhizotomy, but it's something I would definitely consider again if I can't make some good headway with the new meds.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me, but you might want to do a search at the top of the page for RHIZOTOMY or RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION, and I think you'll get a few articles.

    Good luck.

  • had this done at least 4 times with great results. Let us know if you have more questions.
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  • Thanks for the response.I am glad you got good results from it. I googled the procudure and got the basic information on it but having input from someone who had it done makes me feel more comfortable about it. I go in for it on 10/23/2008 and am still a little nervous about it. Dr says i wont care to much about it b/c I'll be under mild sedation. Right now I am taking 5/500 Loratab for the pain and feeling ok. How are you today?
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  • I am glad to hear that you are giving it a shot. It really worked well for me. As a matter of fact, I would give anything if I would have just stuck with my yearly rhizotomy and never had my surgery last Dec. Just do not expect immediate results. It usually takes me about 4 weeks before the nerve totally dies. Your pain may even be a little worse at first ( those nerves do not like being messed with). But hopefully in the end it will be worth every bit of it. I will be out of town until Thursday but please post when you can and let us know how you make out. My doc gives me versed and fentanyl during this procedure. I am still alert and awake because you have to let them know when they hit the right spot. Good luck to you.
  • I have had a rhizotomy done in my lower back on both sides,it lasted about a year...good luck with yours.
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