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Concerned about Radio Freq Order

KrisKKris Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Pain Management
I had a block of L5-S1 back in Sept. with great results for three weeks, so my PM wants to do a pulsed dorsal radio frequency of that area. When they called with the time for the procedure they said they were doing both sides at the same time. I questioned this because I have had my facets done two years ago and they did one side at a time, and also looked at posts on here and have not found that someone had both done at the same time, and they told me that 97% of the time they do it that way and I would have no problems tolerating it (this is the scheduler by the way). I said to put the time on hold and talk to the dr first to make sure. Well that was two weeks ago and they said today they have not confirmed it yet. So I thought I would ask around here to see if anyone has had this done before. Also he told me that there is only a 15-20% chance that this will work. I will do anything to help myself but over the last three years I have tried so many injections and the facet RF either with no results or with results that last less then three months, so I am just scared of going through this for it not to work.

One more question since I am on the Pain Management Forum-
Are Spinal Cord Stimulators for people who are surgical canidates? Or are they meant for someone where surgery has failed?


  • They aren't going to do a diagnosis injection first to determine if this is even going to help? That's what they did for me and it didn't work so I didn't have to go through the process. Maybe you should mention this to your doc. It would be a shame to go through that process just to find out it didn't work.
  • I had both sides done in january of 2008, the doctor did do a diagnosis,before he did the radio frequency....
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  • Sorry to sound stupid, but what do you mean diagnostic injection? I know when I had my facet RF two years ago I had a diagnostic facet block that did work but the RF did not work at all. Is that what your are referring to???
    I had a transforaminal ESI in Sept of L5-S1 like I had mentioned that worked, meaning it decreased my back pain, eliminated my hip/leg pain/nerve pain and decreased my nerve pain and some of the pain in my feet. But it only lasted for about 3 weeks. My doctor did that to see if my leg and foot pain was for sure coming from my back because it was questionable because of some others tests and my MRI. So he said because that injection worked that the Dorsal RF MIGHT work, a 15-20% chance of working. That is what concerns me of having to go through this if the odds are that it will not work.
    Did you have a Pulsed DORSAL RF? He said that the Dorsal root is in the area that the area of nerves that the transforaminal injections are given, but it is not a common procedure. I am desperate for some relief, but I have been through so MANY injections and procedures these last two and half years only to be getting worse, I'm ready to go back to the surgeon and go through the surgery. Getting frustrated.
  • I found the answer to my own question. Thank you guys for mentioning the diagnostic block. I looked this up and your right. There is a dorsal root gandlion block that is to be performed before the RF just like the facet block. It is different, of course, than te transforaminal injection, so I don't know why he told me that. And it also said it is indicated for spinal stenosis, failed back surgery syndrome and disc herniation, all of which I don't have, so I wonder if that is why my chances are lower for it to work verses those that it is indicated for. Anyway, I will see his nurse prac. on the 30th and see what is up with this. I'm glad I posted this question. When I looked this procedure up before to get more information I just found medical articles on it and didn't read anything about the blocks, until today when I specifically looked up dorsal blocks, so I am grateful for your feedback.
  • back in September with good results. He said so in his first sentence. I would not worry about 2 sides at once. The only reason that they normally do 1 at a time is because the insurance company makes them do it that way. I usually get 1 side done 1 week and then go back the next for the other side. This is only because the insurance company makes me do it that way. I would much rather have both sides done at once.
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  • If you're talking the same thing as rhizotomy, it was great; I only had to go under anaesthetic once with each rhizotomy instead of twice, and the relief was almost immediate for me.

    My first two rhizotomies gave me about six weeks of relief, but the third one gave me almost six months, which was awesome. I haven't had another done, as I'm doing drug trials for ankylosing spondylitis right now, so don't want to do too many things at once!

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