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Cervical RFA Recovery Pain. PLEASE HELP if you have had nerve burning procedure.

janinemariejjaninemarie Posts: 2
edited 07/15/2015 - 2:26 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
PROCEDURE PAIN! 3 weeks ago, I had 3 cervical radio frequency ablations. They were done on June 22nd @ C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6 Facet joint nerve roots. (Left side)
I have read a lot of success after healing from the procedure. I'm not there yet. I have a lot of burning pain deep where the needles were placed (like intense bee stings). The skin over the injection sites feel like a bad sunburn thats being rubbed with sandpaper! The muscles on my upper left shoulder felt like I've had muscles cramps (like when your calf tightens in the middle of the night and wakes you and it aches through the day although it is not cramping anymore) Dr. gave me a shot of toradol June 25th but only helped that night. July 1st I started Med dose pack of steroids, which helped a little with the muscle cramp feeling. Now, I get occasional shocks of pain in neck (like a long stinging needle) I have not given up hope that the rfa will work but wanted to know how long it has taken other people to recover from the procedure itself and how long before the rfa was successful.
I was in a car accident 1 year ago. Hit by a truck. The impact whipped my head sideways causing disc bulges @ C4-C5 & C5-C6 with small tears (surgery is not an option with the discs). I also have injuries to the facet joints, that's why the rfa was suggested after 2 trail nerve blocks that were helpful. Steroid injection 2 months after accident was unsuccessful. RFA is the only possible procedure to help me. I've had 2 neck MRI's, 1st without contrast, 2nd with conrast, X-rays, CAT scans of neck & back.
I'm just a little frustrated because the pain from the rfa procedure has not decreased yet....trying to be patient but it's hard when you don't know how long it will take to recover.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • Dealing with chronic pain is so difficult! I really thought other people who have had this nerve burning procedure would comment, but no one has. Feeling very alone. Feedback from people who have gone through this would be very helpful. No one understands this type of pain unless they have gone through it! My friends & family care but they have no idea how horrible this really is.
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    I have never been a candidate for surgery, so I can't speak to that.

    But I do know the chronic pain. It sounds like you are working with a surgeon..?
    And it seems like you are seeing pain management doctor..? I don't know.

    What does doctor say about your symptoms? Does doctor think any medication would allow you to be more comfortable?

    I'm very sorry about you accident...with a truck! Wow! That must have been terrifying!
    And I know the pain is to be most frustrating. Recovery is so different for each individual, so the patience and perseverance for that must be held tightly. Never give up!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • dra2000ddra2000 Posts: 4
    edited 07/25/2015 - 9:13 AM
    i received a c4-c7 fusion in 2013. since that time i have had 7 upper durals and 3 rfas. not proud of any of it, actually frustrated mostly. the upper durals did not work for me. i later found out that because of the way insurance companies are that some drs need to work in a particular order to get things approved. ok more to what you want to know. my first ablation at c3-c4 area did help for about a month but it did burn and ache after it was done for about 2 weeks. second ablation was like it never happened. my dr said that can happen cause you have to get it at the right spot and right amount of burn. just finished my third, well this one hurt bad and i had sporatic jolts of pain on both sides that lasted for two weeks or more. again another failure wish they were all like the first one. now i have chronic neck pain, tightness and numb thumbs, hah. so im back for another mri. i already know, c3-c4 is herniated and im sure they would love to do another plate. tried many nerve drugs and others, too many side effects. going to try botox next, pray. good luck hope this helped. again my last one was bad and like i said it hurt bad for atleast 2 weeks.

    moderator's message...please click on link for helpful information
    welcome to spine-health
  • rmurray1962rrmurray1962 Posts: 1
    edited 08/06/2016 - 1:47 AM
    I have had my second RFA to cervical C3-4,4-5,5-6 for the second time.  It was amazing as i had been receiving blocks before that that only lasted 2-3 months but hey better than more pain medication and I was way more functional.   The second RFA I am really feeling day 2 but I am hopeful given the skill of my anesthesiologist that all is going to be fine.  ICE ICE ICE is amazing with pain meds that will be scaled back to normal.  I have chronic pain from accident and then later arthritis.   Hang in there .... If you have a very skilled surgeon and good team you can have your life back.  I get about 6 months and then nerve regenerates.  I hope to keep writing of my success but tonight it burns.  Stay positive and if  you live in Houston I can recommend a great anesthesiologist.  I have also had really well results on lower spine RFA 2 times after failed back surgery.  I cannot say enough about the relief I have had.  I am a RN and been through the mill of homeopathic way which as you get older did not help for me including discectomy.  I also learned after a year of "im not doing surgery and full time physical therapy and accupuncture" also made me a worse candidate for back surgery......longer story.   Get the right neurosurgeon/anesthesiologist and knock it our.  Don't overdue the success of your results.  You have to take life at a gentler pace and not push your body so hard but tread lightly.........I was extremely worried about burning nerves but ice ice ice and pain relievers for a few days and you have a chance under the right surgeon and patience.

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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello rmurray1962 !
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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