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Recovery from RFA to SI Joints

Hi all,

Looking for a little support and advice. I had radio frequency ablation 3 weeks (21 days ago) and while the post-procedure pain has mostly passed, my original SI and sciatic pain remains and is, without medication, at what I would consider at the high end of my spectrum.

I had a one week follow up and the surgeon's fellow was a little surprised at the level of pain I was still in, but we decided to be patient. From what I have read, 7- 14 days is the average length of time to start seeing improvement. In my case, they said at day 21 I would probably notice a significant change. Nothing yet. Pain hasn't budged.

Unfortunately, that's not the case. I know recover and the nerve dying varies from person to person. For those of you who have had bi-lateral RFA, when did your first pain free day began? Or, at the very least, a significant bump down the pain scale? 

I'm thinking that because of the severity going in, that I need to be patient and wait up to 4-6 weeks before assuming this failed. But, the doc was surprised at week 2 that I still was in pretty bad shape. That left me a tad tentative.

I should also mention that I had an abnormal post-procedure recovery. I was in extreme pain and even while recovering from the sedation they had to administer IV pain medication (Fentanyl I believe). I was in recovery for about 5 hours.  From what I understand, most folks can leave in about 1 hour. Normally, they would't administer pain meds at that level, but every significant movement caused my blood pressure to crash (~79/50). They figured out it was triggered by the pain so to stabilize me, I agreed to IV pain meds. BTW, I avoid these like the plague.

Unfortunately, the pain has been much harder to deal with so they switched me from a low, maintenance does of Tramadol to Hydrocodone. I have to take an anxiolytic for the muscles issues so two weeks into an opiod/benzo combo has me a bit incapacitated, out of work and nervous. I have no idea how people function on this stuff long term. My mind is definitely a little "wonky"! 

LSS: would love to know if anyone out there has had the experience of it taking considerably longer than expected to see a positive outcome from RFA of the SI Joints. Also, any tips for post op recovery would be appreciated. I'm normally active, but this one has really laid me out.

Thanks and advance!

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