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Does Nerve Burning Work?
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Does Nerve Burning Work?

I was wondering if anyone has had their nerve burnt to relieve pain caused by damaged nerve.  My husband has the following symptoms (sharp pains in arm, numb thumb and two fingers next to thumb) combined with severe hand pain.

He was injured during a massage where the guy put his elbow in his neck and leaned all his body weight on it.  He has had his C5 C6 and C6 C7 discs removed a fused.  He has had 8 spinal blocks.  Nothing has helped.  Our new doctor is talking about burning the nerve.  

Does burning the nerve/nerves work and for how long.  Can it cause any damage.  
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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547368_tn?1332173665
Hello DesperateWife,

Welcome to the Pain Mangement Forum. OI am glad that you found us but obviously sorry to hear about your husband's injury and subsequent pain.

Are you asking about Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA)? That is a procedure where the nerve endings are destroyed by heat through radiofrequency. If so this procedure is reported to be effective in reducing pain in 70% of the ppl. It is not a permanent solution. The nerves do grow back. It can reduce pain for 6-18 months or more. The amount of relief and length of pain releif often depends on the location and severity of his pain. It is a fairly safe procedure.

Hopefully one of our members that have had the procedure will see this post and respond. I have to first hand experience with the procedure.

Best of luck to your husband. Please let us know how he does. My thoughts are that if it has a chance of reducing his chronic pain and is not horribly invasive it's worth a try. Less pain is a good thing. I'll look forward to your updates.

Take Care,
Tuck
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172023_tn?1334675884
I'm probably having this next week.  Will report back.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had this done as an experimental procedure many years ago when they were just trying it out.  It absolutely worked for me.  
Is he having this done in the cervical area and did you mean to say where he is fused?  I have not heard of this procedure in that case.  
I am fused at C6-C7.  Cervical surgery/fusion is a hard one.  Pain before is bad, but after surgery you develop a whole new set of problems so I know what your husband must be going through.  
So after a fusion your husband is still having pain and numbness in his fingers and arms?  Has he had a 2nd opinion to look at the surgery he had done?  Often times when you have a fusion you rupture above or below the original surgical site and develop arthritis in that area. He may want to have another surgeon look at his results via a CT scan.  
Is the surgeon who did this surgery sending him for the nerve burning?
That would make me want a 2nd opinion prior to going for this procedure.  
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127124_tn?1326739035
A surgeon recommended I have this done due to neck and shoulder injury.   I have opted not to do it.   Make sure your husband has thought this through before going ahead with it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a lower left back pain (SI joint), Doctor told me to inject it and burn the nerves on it.Doctor told me it is a permanent solution for this . Is it a good solution for my chronic back pain.Please tell me some thig about his. I m really worry about his.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had this done twice. It only lasted five months for me but it did work. There is only minor pain with the procedure and is not invasive at all. After it is done you walk right out and are told to take it easy and use ice on the area. Don't be Leary of the needles.  Hope this helps
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Avatar_f_tn
It didn't work for me, but  my husband had this done in his lumbar spine and had excellent results. The procedure itself wasn't any worse than an epidural steroid injection.
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2104568_tn?1333759255
Hi Tuck, I'm having RFA done wed. in the upper part of  my  neck, I was wondering if it was very painful tohave done.





Thanks.
wolvescreeep
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Avatar_m_tn
I am having this done on jan.11,2013, I sure hope it works for my cervical neck left shoulder and back of head pain.
Will let u know!
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Avatar_m_tn
I had it done and it lasted about 14 months. I am getting it done again but this time my doc is doing the "new" version of the procedure. It is where he uses a scope and ensures he burns the correct nerves. It is a small incision instead of just a needle but he said it should last 2-3 years since they burn exactly where they need to.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, I just had this procedure done today. I've had steroids injections and blocks. None have worked. Burning was my last hope. I've had a child, hyst, and plastic surgery. I have never had a procedure as painful as the one I endured today. I had 5 areas that control my right shoulder burned. I cried the entire process. I have been on a heating pad and lortab most of the day. I'm finally able to eat and can stand my dogs cuddling on the bed w/o the movement causing me to cringe. So, I'm hopeful tomorrow will better. I can report the painful burning and tingling I had before the procedure seems to be gone. That will be a huge gain if it last. I've been told nerves grow back and this procedure is not perminate. But it's got to be better than living on pain meds. Good luck. I sincerely hope no one has the pain experienced that I did.
R.Roberts
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Avatar_f_tn
We share the same issues, did this work for you? This is my next option.
thanks
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5270183_tn?1365791606
I had this procedure done on wed 04-10-2013, I have four bulging disc in my back along with arthrits, i have had  a spinal epidural and injections for the facets, this RAF i had, so far so good i will repost in a couple of weeks to give an update. I have great faith this will help with the agonizing pain, I feel good today not much pain at all. The day of the procedure i only experienced a little numbness in my leg, but other then that nothing else to complain about, like i said today is friday 04-12-2013, SO FAR SO GOOD, I have taken no pain meds today, YEAH, Good Luck!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
How are things now?  I'm having the RFA on L-3,4&5 in a week and getting a little nervous. Would love to hear more updates from ones who've had it done... Would be even better if they're good updates. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Can you walk me through the whole procedure? Everything from the pain and what they did?
Thanks

P.S. I am still deciding if I want to go through this....scared!!
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Avatar_f_tn
hi Skinny 55,  did you have it done in the cervical area?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
I'm considering getting the nerve burn procedure done and I'm particularly interested in your comment because you referenced back of head pain. My neck pain is from degenerated disks and I can withstand that pain, but it's the back of the head pain that I think comes from the neck condition that is just unbearable. Just excrutiating headaches in the middle of the night. Did it help you with that? What do you think overall?
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