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How long does it take for RFA to work?

JunebugJJunebug Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had RFA a week ago at L4-L5 and L5-S1. It still hurts at least as bad if not worse than before the procedure.

What has been your experience with radio frequency ablation?

Very grateful for any responses!


  • to go through all that and not get any benefit is the pits! That's unfortunately what happened to me. If I remember, I got a few days pain relief, but then it came back. I don't know if they put some anaesthetic in there at the same time. I was disappointed with the results. However, while other conservative treatments are being offered, do take them, 'cos you might find that one works really well and will save you having to have painful spine surgery later down the line.

    I tried everything going, over many years, but in the end had a 2-level fusion last July. I've still got back issues and new symptoms that I didn't have before the surgery, but it's all a gamble I suppose and nothing is guaranteed.

    Perhaps your pain relief will kick in very soon after the RFA - when the nerves have had time to settle down a bit, I do hope so.
    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 !!
  • Thanks Sue. I have had good luck with the facet joint steroid injections in the past. The doctor did say that she put a little steroid in when she did the procedure. That could be what gave you relief. I did have two days of no pain, myself.
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  • It's been 12 days, and I am still hurting. I read the doctors notes that said it can take 3 weeks to feel better. It takes the nerves time to die after being burned.

    I had them on 3 levels, both sides. L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1.
  • FINALLY starting to feel good, it's been 5 weeks since my RFA!
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