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Radio frequency for back pain

sophienycssophienyc Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone,

I have pain in my lower back caused by arthritis. I have tried two epidural injections but didn't have any success. Now my doctor wants to try radio frequency to kill the nerves that are causing my pain...

Has anyone else had this procedure done? Did it work? Can you recommend a good doctor in New York?

I would really appreciate any advice or stories of other people's RF treatments. Thanks!


  • Are you talking about RFTC? Yes, I had that at levels L1 through L5 both right and left. Go down to the spinal injections or pain management forums and look for radio frequency ablation, or facet ablation and you'll find it's a very common procedure :)
  • in my lumbar facet joints and this procedure is the only one that does work for me. I did get relief from the epidurals it was just short lived.

    The RF procedure normally lasts 9 - 12 months for me.

    good luck
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  • I had this done 2-3 years ago. Really weird feeling when they find the exact nerve that is causing the problem(s) - but not very painful, which was good. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me, but everyone is different. I have heard other people say it was great for them! Also, I believe that the nerves 'grow back' or something, so I don't think it's a permanent solution. But this may be just in a few cases, I'm not 100 per cent sure.

    When you're in pain, I think we try almost anything in the hope that this will be the treatment that works and gives longer lasting pain relief. I really hope this is the case for you.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    Are they suggesting a diagnostic nerve block first? Usually, the doc will go in first and temporarily block the nerve they want to burn to make sure that they have the right nerve and that it works. If a nerve block on the correct nerve takes away the pain, then it's likely that the RFA will work. Conversely, if the nerve block doesn't work, then it's likely the RFA won't work either.

    I'm curius as that is usually the next step after an ESI and before an RFA.

    I had an ESI and it helped my sciatic pain, but obviously did nothing for my facet and stenosis issues. So, just from my experience, they did the diagnostic nerve block for the remaining pain and it didn't work so they decided the RFA would not work either and wouldn't even try because of the negative nerve block outcome.

    Either way, I wish you success. Like JJ said, I know that some people have great success with RFAs and hope you can find help with this conservative measure for a decent amount of time.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. my doctor recommended the above procedure but my medi-cal does not cover it and i do not have the money for the procedure. i do hope it works for you, i would love to try it and see if i got some pain relief. be sure and try whatever you doctor offers, he won't steer you wrong if you are with a good one! conservative measures are a must before even considering surgery unless otherwise recommended by your doctor. of course they always know best!! good luck and stop by anytime! Jenny :)
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