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Radiofrequency neurotomy/ablation

SpondySSpondy Posts: 1
edited 11/18/2015 - 6:34 AM in Pain Management
Hi, new here! I just had a radiofrequency neurotomy/ablation on Friday so that's 5 days ago. I had minimal soreness, not nearly as bad as the facet joint injections (those were a bit rough recovery wise). Last night (4 days post procedure), I suddenly started having shocks of pain through the area, painful enough to elicit vocal reactions from me. Is this normal? My facet joint injections were painful from the get go, but this procedure I had next to no pain after. I had been wondering if they even did anything (I ended up knocked out for the procedure, perhaps due to the fact that I have PTSD and the staff knows how hard I handle these things so decided to go that route). I was assured that they got all of the nerves, but spent the four days post procedure feeling no different. Then some pain began and all of a sudden last night, the painful shocks began. Less of an electrical shock feel and more of a short, sudden pain. Is this normal? The jolts aren't something I've ever experienced. My pain has always been constant. So this whole thing is confusing for me. Why did I feel nothing for 4 days and suddenly be jolted with severe pain for a quick second every few minutes? This is my first time. Any input would be appreciated. I don't have a follow up for a few weeks. My family wants me to call my pain management doctor (he selects procedures but doesn't do them, another doctor he works with does the actual procedures). Thanks in advance!

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - When did this first start?- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)- Medical advice of any kind- Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Liz,Spine-Health System Moderator


  • I had one done last Wednesday the 25th. Thanksgiving day I felt great and Friday morning I went to work with no pain medication. I ended up taking something Friday evening basically because I've been taking medication for close to a year now. It's probably too early to tell just how much this is going to help me. Already I think it has a lot. As far as the procedure and the doctor and doing a great job. I haven't had any complications like I've read some have/do, so I guess that's a big plus.
    Rick Anderson. I live in middle Tennessee. I'm a former pro motocrosser, raced a car on dirt tracks for 5 years, played tennis in high school, now raising 2 kids and enjoying life to the best of my ability :)
  • Hi both

    I had RFA on L5, S1, S2 & S3 6 weeks ago and am still suffering with horrendous neuritis which started around 3 weeks ago. Mr Doctor says it can take up to 8 weeks to work but a lot of places say it should feel better in 2 to 3 weeks if it is going to work.

    The pain is so horrific and I can't manage it, the only way I can get pain relief is to lie down, which is a nightmare for work!!

    I really hope this does work in the next 2 weeks. If anyone has had RFA work after 6 weeks I'd love to hear from you!!
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • My doc said 4 weeks for me and I had all sorts of different shocking pain then subside. I also had a lot of body jerking.
  • edited 12/16/2015 - 6:40 PM
    actually just had an SI joint injection and that on was painful, the lumbar epidural i was put out for each time but I was told because of the lidocaine first then the decadron, or celestone or whatever steroid they are using it takes time to metabolize into your body so varies for everyone.
    I haven't had any luck with the injections. Can I ask what test detected your facet joint issues? and was it after any other type of surgery. My MRI read mild to moderate on l2 l3 l3 l4 l5 s1, but dr chose SI joint injection over facet injection.
    I wanted to jump on the table just the position I was in today had me in tears, and I had to stay a while because my leg was like puffy feeling a weak and like jello and I can not find a comfortable position at all....as you can see I'm posting at 130 am. I called dr office to get clearance and make them aware I was increasing my meds for tonight and tomorrow if need be. And a ton of ice.

    Would you be willing to share your symptoms from you facet hypertrophy?
    This can't be happening
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