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Radiofrequency Thermal Ablation

It's been about a month since I had RFT Ablation on my C 3, 4, 5, & 6.  I still have my neck pain & Since day one I've been experiencing excruciating skin sensitivity on my left side face, neck, & shoulder. It is so painful to wear a necklace or even my seatbelt!!! I don't have a physical rash but there's a very bad sunburn feeling & I can't handle it! I tried taking anti inflammatory, creams & pain pills & no relief AT ALL.  Not sure what to do now...!  VERY PAINFUL 


  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 692
    APCougar - Have you reported your condition to the doctor that performed the ablation?  I have NOT had multiple level ablations like you and also did not have symptoms that you describe.  For your own health considerations,  I really recommend that have a follow-up discussion. 
  •  I know RFA's and ESI's can sometimes aggravate the nerves before it kicks in. I never had ablation on my neck, just ESI's, and I would be nervous about getting it done there. It's been done to my lumbar spine before, but the last one didn't help. It takes awhile for the medial nerves to die off and up to 6 months to a year of relief. Mine usually started up around 3 months. I would certainly contact the doctor asap to make sure it isn't nothing more serious. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello APCougar !
    I agree with above, please notify doctor of your symptoms....such severe sensitivity!

    Please click on link for helpful information
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hey APCougar -

    I have had 3 RFA's now covering both sides of my neck from C2-C7 as well as the Third Occipital Nerve (TON).  They were space about 8 months apart with the most recent (C2-C3, TON) back on 11/1/2016.  Of the three, only one has been very successful at alleviating my constant stiffness and neck pain;  The other two were not successful and ended up being time-consuming disappointments.

    Regarding the pain:  By far the worst one was the bilateral RFA on my C2-C3/TON.  Starting just a day after the procedure, I had burning pain extending from the bottom of my hairline all the way to the top of my scalp.  It was so bad that just touching the hair on the back of my head created a sensation like severe sunburn.  I couldn't lay on my back when trying to sleep and had to switch to a side position.  The pain and burning lasted for almost 6 weeks, but nearly gone now after 10 weeks.  I was give a script for 30 - 5x325 Percocet and that helped to numb the pain for a couple weeks.  My pain mgt doctor then prescribed 300mg of Gabapentin which might have helped some as well.  Unfortunately, I still have my original neck stiffness and pain. 

    I would definitely ask your doctor about your pain - s/he may be able to prescribe something that will help get you through.


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