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radio frequency procedure - lumbar

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Pain Management
Hi all,

If anyone has undergone a radio frequency procedure for facet joint pain, please let me know how it was and what to expect.

I had one two weeks ago and the pain has gotten worse. They say that is to be expected. Please let me know your experience. It would mean so much.


  • Doesn't sound good so far, let us know if it turns out good in case we have the opportunity. Good luck.
  • Hello Lynn
    yes, I had this done on all 5 lumbar levels ear;ier this year. Also known as de-nervation. It is not a very pleasant experience. I had all one side done and then the other a week or so later. And yes, it was quite uncomfortable for a while. Try some Ibuprofen and some ice if it still hurts you.
    This procedure kills the nerves around the facet joints which cab regenerate after a year to 18 months and the pain can return and you may need to repeat the procedure. It is part of the range of procedures to rule out facet joints being the cause of the problem before going on to look at discs as the source. Unfortunately my de-nervation was not successful so had to then have a discogram which confirmed the problem was discs and not facet joints. I had three level surgery done on 22nd April - Charite ADR L3/L4, L4/L5 and ALIF (fusion) at L5/S1.
    Hope your RF works. Take it easy for a while and try to rest as much as you can.
    Let me know if I can answer any other questions about this you might have
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  • Hi Bryan,
    Thank you so much for your reply. I am praying that this works even a little. How did your surgery work? Did it help with the pain?
    How long did they tell you it would take to know if the RF worked or not?
    Any input, is appreciated so much.
  • Hello Lynn
    I think is was up to about four weeks before you could tell if it worked or not so you probably have a bit more time to wait. I'm 14 weeks post op now and struggling a bit still. I'm told the surgery has been successful and went as planned. The fusion is healing and the discs were in the right place still (6 weeks ago) but I still have back pain radiating into my legs pretty much as before. Still on meds and trying to reduce. I have another follow up with the surgeon on Friday.
    Good luck with your healing from your RF.
  • I had great success (I think) with the readiofrequency lesioning. Actually, it was the test to see if you would have a good response to the actual procedure. I did really well. BUT, then I was rear-ended. Kinda threw things into a tailspin (no pun intended, really). Talk about a set back. Since then, I've had surgery, more injections, and another test run for the procedure. All with little (if any) success. :(

    I do remember my doc telling me that I would be sore, but that eventually things would work themselves out and I'd feel better. (prior to the accident)

    The ice and ibuprofen are great suggestions. I do hope you find some relief soon!

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  • results with rhizotomy! It will take four or more weeks to know if it has worked. The nerves do not die right away and they are angry. Ice and rest will be your best friend for awhile. I have had this done 6 times and it has been a lifesaver for me. It usually lasts about 1 year for me and then the process is repeated. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • I've had three rhizotomies; all three of which were L2 to S1, bilaterally. The third also took in segments of my c-spine and t-spine; I had GREAT results with my lumbar, sacral and c-spine pain, but it irritated the heck out of my t-spine area.

    The first rhizotomy gave me relief as soon as the nerves settled down after the surgery (that's an awful experience, but it was fairly short-lived, at least!), but the relief only lasted about five or six weeks. The second one lasted a little bit longer, and the third one, which I had last September, gave me several MONTHS of relief, which was awesome. There are people who have up to two years of relief, and others who get NO relief; it's just one of those things.

    I would do it again if I had to, but I'll stay away from the t-spine. Right now I'm getting relief with a new NSAID I'm taking, so I may be able to avoid rhizotomies for a while. Good luck!

  • I hit the "post" button twice and ended up with two of the same responses! I just wiped out the second one and replaced it with this one. :D
  • Thank you so much for your comments they have helped me so much. I am more confindent now tha tthis is going to work.
    I was so afraid, now I know what to expect more. I appreciate any comments so much. Please keep them coming.
  • hi. I had the rhizotomy this past wednesday, july 30. Im still in alot of pain. Very sore and stiff. No one told me this would take weeks or months for results. And i wasn't told the nerves don't die right away and are angry. I think mine are ubber furious!!!

    If anyone could give me some encouragement, i would love you for it.

    Blessings, Gloria
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