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Burning pain after Radio Frequency Ablation to Neck (RFA)



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  • /:)
    Well, it hasn't been long since my procedure myself, and I have the same thing pretty much you all have causing pain, herniated disks, stenosis,tendonitis, fibromyalgia, even apparently some spinal fluid leaking from one of the herniated cervical disks. The alternative is a lot scarier procedure to help pain, from what I've been told. I hear they go in from the front, where you know...the carotid artery area is!!! No thank you! But it could be bogus. Anyway, I had two sort of successful steroid injections on left side c-1 - c-6 I think, and one procedure on the right side. My migraines, arm pain, back, neck blah blah has been unbearable, so injections were inevitable since I'm on everything imaginable. So now, brings me to the recent RFA. Yes, burning, yes tenderness, aching in upper areas where shots were, and I was awake, cried like a baby and kicked the rails several times, but guess what? I used to be an ER "Frequent Flier" (joking, like airport talk hehe) but since, I rather take this less burning, temporary pain, or if not temp, is better than 12 out of 10 pain level before. You know the pictures they show to describe your pain? Well, they didn't have the one where the person is banging there head against the wall to knock themself out (for pity's sake)because that's how I felt before! I know its short time now since, but hey, no ER yet! A record for me! I say if you relate to me, almost renaming yourself to "Migraine" "Sciatica" or "Pain Always Smith, instead of your own name, then try it! But see, I've had pain my whole life and it is the lesser of evils of operations for me too. I have to do a round of steroids on the right then the RFA too, oh well. But better than before, let me tell you. Good Luck to you all!
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  • 8> I sure hope I didn't scare you off. But anyway, it has been a relief, and I forgot to say, at least according to my doctor that if the steroid injections are not successful, the RFA is unlikely to help much, but maybe they were reaching to help in any way possible. You see, I've been on every prevention for migraines, and on different meds that I rather not be, and still in great pain. The steroid injections did help, so the right side is getting that first, and I'm glad. (I have allergies to cig. smoke so that made my treatment not last very long last time. Just to let you know, a surgeon told another patient in preop that if you smoke, your recovery, healing time is slower, just to let you know. After this RFA treatment I was given a topical cream called PENNSAID (diclofenac sodium 16.05 mg. and it does help for the burning pain. So ask for it. It's expensive and I was given samples. They give them out because of that, and I doubt I'll use it all. its watery, a tiny bit soaks in. I wasn't using it, then did, and it made a difference. I was trying to not be so needing stuff, but it did help swelling and burning. (Is still) Remember I just had it done, and no ER....that's a Hell of a lot better then going under the knife. (I had a 9 out of 10 migraine lack of sleep going in also, so wa a baby. I know i could've handled it better if not already swollen. So don't freak about me kicking the rails. I got "over twilighted" because I was already sick, and I got lots of relief after. And, yes,I will do it on the right side soon even with this.
  • I had it for my back it takes about 2 weeks to kick in i still feel burning, but every day it get minimal, i love my pm doc and i trust him, this procedure is to last from 3-5 year"s but it does take time to work !!good luck to all
  • After an ACDR C5-C7 in June 2009, half a dozen epidural facet and trigger point injections both before and after the surgery I had to try it. I have the sensations you described above but not too bad. Actually about the same as my pain the last 4 years, just different. My pain DR said I can do anything I want physically as long as I can tolerate it. My Neuro surgeon said that if this works for a period of time he might consider another (higher) fusion for a permanent fix. And around and around and around we go !
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  • Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that creates a nerve injury produces local heat. When a disability is placed over a nerve pain, pain signals are suspended and the perception of pain by the brain decreased.


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    Post Edited by Moderator haglandc
  • had a radio frequency did on c spine. having alot of burning in the back of head area. anyone have the same problem. feels like head is on fire.
  • So, I want to say this with a ton of emphasis -- that these posts are so incredibly valuable. They may sound scary or even negative, but I take them as being 100% HONEST. For people like me who are told by their doctor (with a reassuring smile on his face) that this might help, I have now have the benefit of the experience of others to help me better contemplate whether the potential benefits are worth the potential side effects.

    I am so happy that I came across this thread!

  • Update on my RFA. 4 days after the procedure the pain went WAY up. The highest it has ever been in the 4 years I have treated for this pain. As recent as 1 week ago it was intolerable. The DR's PA said it would go down in 2 weeks after the procedure. Unfortunately my visit with her was 3 weeks post operative !

    However yesterday (4 weeks and two days since my RFA) the increased pain is just now starting to drop . I'll keep you posted.
  • I do feel that was the only thing that could help me remotely, and have the right side to do. I keep getting migraines on that side now, which move to the left, and believe it or not, there is still a large area in my head, where there is horrible pain with acute migraines, as well as neck. One area in particular in my neck on the side is awful still, but...my left arm isn't hurting, shooting pain down and I can be on the computer, make my music, unlike before. The burning after opsite area pain, is minimal now, over 2 months I think, and it is a little tender while brushing my hair. But see...I do see some areas of great relief! Yet I'm still in great pain, so they need to do the other side, maybe a second. A process, and time. I joke that my nerves are growing back, or rejuvenating, repairing, I had taken the supposed Neurontin for nerve pain renoun for regenerating nerve growth, repair! pfff!!! Instead it made me get tremmors on maninly one hand and I couldn't type, plus other stuff. Steroid injections weren't enough, but helped for a little while, and I think I have to do that before I can get the right side done, according to sources at my doctors. Oh, but my doctor had to move practice, so I'm stuck. I don't know why< what, and everything at the office is chaotic in his absence, but he was the only one near who could do it, and had offered. I know healing is bad, but believe me, without the surgery, when I look back, the pain was much more wide spread, relentless, and never was I below a 6 out of ten, now I have some 2s or 3 days. So I myself, am trying to get it, knowing I'll cry like a little child in surgery awake, "twighlighted" pfft!!! It's the only option for me in 47 years of living experience, much of it in pain having fallen as a child. Okay, so my two sense, plus there is a topical cream which I haven't needed for a while with Diclofenac, which helps. It does. It's topical and runny, but soaks in. Ask for a sample because it's expensive. I said that before, but can't help but say it again, since many people have said the burning pain. Mine is very little now, none that I can tell unless I brush my hair, and it's minimal. I'd be patient, remember the past horridness, and I bet you'll aggree, and weigh the benefits vrs risks. I'd rather a month or two of sunburn-iness than always ER chances, and wide range pain. okay, take care...I'll get back to you, and yes, I still get sick, so I know (for myself) both sides need it to work, and am trying. ;)
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