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Having RFA in Jan 2013
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Having RFA in Jan 2013

Hi,
I am scheduled to have a RFA in Jan 2013 and I am terrified!! I cancelled the first one because I was scared. My pain doctor talked me into re-scheduling it again. After reading up on this procedure and all the negative comments from patients who have had it, I am crying and really don't want to do it!!!!!
I don't want to be any worse than I am now. I can't be an invalid. I would rather have the horrible pain.
What other options do I have besides the RFA?
I had surgery on T10-T11 in April due to a huge bone spur compressing on the spinal cord. I have rods on both sides of the spinal column and between the 2 disc's. I really think that is the big part of my pain. I also have a severe case of Costochondritis two weeks post op that sent me to the E.R. with severe pain in the rib cage under the right breast to the surgical site. I am still fighting this.
I don't know what to do?? I need help! I trust my pain doctor but this procedure terrifies me.
Thank you for any help with this matter.
Anita
9 Comments Post a Comment
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi!
Just like pills RFA has its advantages and disadvantages. If it works, it can be really helpful. If it does not work, you may suffer from numbness, tingling etc. Alternatively you could also discuss the possibilities opioid pain patches like fentanyl patch, physiotherapy, spinal cord stimulator etc. Take care!
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4451093_tn?1354770292
Thank you so much for your advice. I feel the same way about the patches. I know three people who have had the RFA and all three told me not to do it and if they had to do it over again they would say no.
I have talked to my medical doctor and my back surgeon and they both said if I had bad feelings about it then don't do it and to always follow my instincts.
Thank you again!
Anita
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4397957_tn?1354284522
Just had RF injection last month(NOV) Make sure the Doctor you are seeing is BOARD CERTIFIED In Pain Management!
Nobody tells you this, but I did my research before commiting to this procedure.
I can answer any other Q's if you want to know what it feels like before and after.
They do not always work the 1st time around and make sure they give you sedation.

Please do not hesitate if you have any Q's, I will be glad to tell you as much as I can.
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4451093_tn?1354770292
Thank you for your advice! They are giving me a pain pill that does nothing for my pain and a .25mg of Xanax before the procedure. I take 2mg of Xanax every night to sleep so what they are giving me before the procedure will not work. They refuse to give me something stronger like Versed, etc.
So I am cancelling the procedure because I have a bad feeling about it. I have talked to my medical doctor and the surgeon who did my back surgery and both told me if I had a bad feeling about it....then don't do it.
I don't want to be a difficult patient but this procedure scares me because of what I have read about other people who have had it and they are worse. My surgeon thinks if I give it a year after my surgery I will start feeling better. I just don't want to rush into anything that I will regret later.
Thank you again!
Anita
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4451093_tn?1354770292
Do you know anything about the Spinal Cord Stimulator? I just watched a video. It did not look to bad. They insert the wires by the spinal cord and run them through an incision in your upper butt and place the stimulator.Then I watched a trial stimulator placement where you have a pager looking device and you control it depending on your pain level.
I have tried Physiotherapy but not the opioid pain patches. I use a lidocaine patch every now and then but it does not help.
I cry everyday because I am in horrible pain. It has put me in a deep depression and I don't care if I wake up every morning or not. Yes, I am talking to a doctor about my depression. I just want this pain to go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4451093_tn?1354770292
I had my RFA on Monday (Jan 14th). Procedure went well but 24 hours after I started hurting very bad. Everyday the pain increases. I can't take much more of this horrible pain. I am on 2mg of Diluadid every six hours and it is not even touching the pain. The doctor burned three nerves on the right side of my back.I really regret doing the RFA.
I can't stop crying. How long will this horrible pain last? I am trying to cope but it is very hard.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so sorry to here that!!
I also had the RFA done on Monday and my results have been great so far.
Everything I've read says that the pain can last for three weeks to a month before you experience relief so try to stay strong because it STILL MIGHT WORK!!! You're in my prayers. Please keep us posted on your condition.
I'm sure you've learned all this by now, but make sure to keep rotating heat and cold, keep up with your medications because fighting pain works best before the pain hits not during it, rest rest rest, and fight stress/anxiety. Anxiety makes everything worse. When I started reading books about mediation and mentally controlling your pain it helps a lot (not when it's at it's worst, but those times you feel the pain building sometimes focused relaxation can ease it a little). I pray you feel better darling!
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4451093_tn?1354770292
I am so glad your RFA went well. I had a bad feeling about mine long before I agreed to do it. I should have followed my heart. I have cried for a solid week. My eyes are swollen shut and my blood pressure is sky high. I can't relax and rest because I hurt so bad. I have never had such intense pain ever in my life. I pray to die everyday.
I am on the strongest pain medicine I can take (Dilaudid) and it does not touch the pain. I don't understand why my pain is so bad?
I have locked myself in my room and cut myself off from everyone and everything.
Thank you for checking on me. I will keep trying to get this under control...
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Avatar_f_tn
I was scheduled to get RFA early Feb. Laying on the table and everything. After 20 minutes of the Dr. doing his thing, he finally said that he couldn't "in all good practice" continue the procedure due to the fact that if he finished, some of the muscles that would be affected would spasm for the rest of my life. Luckily I have a practitioner who thinks long range. The question now is "what's next?" I have an appt with him next week to talk about other options. He mentioned a possible Lumbar epidural. Anyone have success with this or a similar situation?
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