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radio frequency procedure - lumbar



  • Hi.

    I had this procedure done yesterday ... it is not a comfortable procedure to go through as you must be awake and alert so that you can tell the doctor exactly what you are feeling when you feel it. This is an uncomfortable procedure, which I knew going into it. :''(

    Today, my back is sore from the injection site, but other than that, I only have a pain in my calf (like growing pains). I haven't taken any painkillers (not even Advil or the like) and the ice definitely helps. The worst part about this is the fact that I will have to go through this again in about a week or so ... they have to do the other side. Well, at least I know what to expect. Hopefully I will be pain-free! =D> I have a great doctor if anyone needs a recommendation on Long Island!
  • I'm going for the first part on Monday to see if this procedure will work.Iam really scared.Will it hurt?
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  • work as well if you are sedated either. The best results are obtained when you are awake so that you can tell the doc when he hits the nerve that is causing your pain. If you are asleep he is really guessing on which one to burn.
    Annies mom, do not be afraid. It will hurt for a matter of seconds and then they numb and burn it. If you get relief as good as I did that lasted 1 year it will be well worth that few seconds of pain. just remember to place ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes on to the site and it should help alot. Hopefully your doc will send you home with sufficient pain meds. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • It wont hurt if you are sedated....I wasnt completely sedated..
  • I had a radio frequency done in July and it is now september. Since I had it done, I have the most excrutiating back pains in the morning when I first wake up. I have to squirm and slide out of bed because it hurts SO much, to get dressed is painful, to use the toilet, I have to lower myself bracing the sink and toilet paper roll. After about two hours, taking morphine and a lidoderm patch, I can function fine with pain still present but not as bad. I wish I had never had this done!

    I have DDD, 2 herneated discs and no disc space between L5 S1. My facet joints are non existant anymore, they grind on eachother. My x-ray is one big cloud in that area.

    I'm only 28 years old and have been dealing with this back pain for about 10 years. It started out as flare ups once or twice a year and now it is chronic and severe. I'm a SSG in the Army. Has anybody had these same problems and have had surgery for it? I'm scared to have surgery for risk of becoming paralyzed.
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  • I had it done 2 months ago and am still "burning". From about L2 to below my buttocks and hips still burn. They did L1 through L4. It didn't help me at all. It even hurts to have clothes on touching my body in those areas.

    Since that time, I've had L2 disc replacement and fusion with L3. So far the burning from the radio frequency is worse than the fusion!

    John 3:16

  • I had a radio frequency procedure a year ago June that resulted in constant ambient or white noise in my head. Has anyone experienced a similar side effect? If so, does it or did it go away? Thanks for the assistance.
  • I had to have two nerve blocks done before a rhizotomy would be considered; they were both done while I was awake, under low dose x-ray. The doc "marked" where he injected, and after two successful blocks, he knew where to go for the rhizotomies.

    My NS does the rhizotomies under a general anaesthetic because the troubleshooting has already been done with the nerve blocks, so he gets a little more "aggressive", for lack of a better word, when he does the rhizotomy, and also does SI joint injections while I'm out.


  • langston, hope you are doing better at this point, would love to hear an update. For others, my RF wasn't bad and I did have a very mild sedation. They did left side L3-L4-L5 and placed all three probes before starting the procedure. For each probe I had to tell them when I could feel them stimulating the nerve. Then they loaded up that area with novocaine and turned up the heat. The second and then the third both followed in the same manner. The sensations were not painful, in fact each was different, weird! The actual cauterization of the nerves did not hurt at all. As a matter of fact, the buff cap they gave me for the sedation was probably the most painful part of the whole ordeal. I'm post-op 2 weeks now, just had a follow up doc visit. They said to expect 1-2 weeks for my back to quit "complaining" about having the procedure itself done and 4-6 weeks more for the nerves to actually die off and to feel relief. My pain is not much worse than when I started and I never developed the muscle spasms they said could develop. I don't take the pain meds at work so I load up on Ibuprofen on those days and then take the pain meds when I get home. I've already started some PT too.
  • Lynn, Yesterday I had the above procedure accomplished at L4. My doctor performs this is a two step fashion so I hesitate to comment until the next procedure is completed. Step One was done with sedation, I had different sensations that when steroial injections were done. I did have pain yesterday which I treated with Lortab. Today, I feel better but it is still early in the day.

    Step Two is scheduled for November 6. I will let you know how it goes. But, if there is a possibility I could acquire a pain-free year, I'm all for it!!!!! (As I am sure you are too)

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