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Rhizotomy done in doctor's officeses for pain
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Rhizotomy done in doctor's officeses for pain

what are the dangers of a rhizotomy for pain relief? My pain dr. just learned this technique and is pushing it down my throat.  I'm very leary.  What do I have to be careful of?  Lilyrose77
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Hi Lilyrose,

Welcome to our Pain Management Forum. There are lots of opinions on the benefits and risks or a Rhizomtomy (RFA).  My first concern in your instance is your statement, "My doctor just learned this technique." In my opinion it takes a seasoned professional to perform this procedure to obtain the best results.

In a Rhizomtomy the nerve roots are selectively severed to correct symptoms associated with neurological conditions. It's my understanding that the surgery/procedure takes approximately 4 hours. It normally involves a neurosurgeon, an anesthesiologist, and a team of assisting physicians.

I believe there are several "types" of Rhizomtomys. What nerves will be treated? Is this for back pain or another area of pain?

You are wise to weight your pros and cons. Some ppl reports excellent results while others have not seen great benefits. I really believe the outcomes vary depending on the location of your pain, the skill of the practitioner and your own system's response.

A former MedHelp Vet, Jim Humphries, B.S., D.V.M. who was responsible for the Forum, PetDocsOnCall did a lot of posting on the procedure. Indeed he had this procedure and if my memory serves me it was not as effective as he had hoped. He provided us with very informative information. Last I checked he was no longer available through MH.... but here is a link to ONE of his posts... there are more. I hope you will find it helpful.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Pain-Management/Anyone-Have-Good-Results-with-RF-Rhizotomy/show/1197220

You are approaching the possible procedure correctly. Educate yourself, research, read and research some more to make the best informed decision you can. I hope the link is helpful and that you will keep in touch and share your decision and experience with us.

Best of Luck and Take Care,
~Tuck
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3 Comments Post a Comment
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547368_tn?1332173665
Hi Lilyrose,

Welcome to our Pain Management Forum. There are lots of opinions on the benefits and risks or a Rhizomtomy (RFA).  My first concern in your instance is your statement, "My doctor just learned this technique." In my opinion it takes a seasoned professional to perform this procedure to obtain the best results.

In a Rhizomtomy the nerve roots are selectively severed to correct symptoms associated with neurological conditions. It's my understanding that the surgery/procedure takes approximately 4 hours. It normally involves a neurosurgeon, an anesthesiologist, and a team of assisting physicians.

I believe there are several "types" of Rhizomtomys. What nerves will be treated? Is this for back pain or another area of pain?

You are wise to weight your pros and cons. Some ppl reports excellent results while others have not seen great benefits. I really believe the outcomes vary depending on the location of your pain, the skill of the practitioner and your own system's response.

A former MedHelp Vet, Jim Humphries, B.S., D.V.M. who was responsible for the Forum, PetDocsOnCall did a lot of posting on the procedure. Indeed he had this procedure and if my memory serves me it was not as effective as he had hoped. He provided us with very informative information. Last I checked he was no longer available through MH.... but here is a link to ONE of his posts... there are more. I hope you will find it helpful.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Pain-Management/Anyone-Have-Good-Results-with-RF-Rhizotomy/show/1197220

You are approaching the possible procedure correctly. Educate yourself, research, read and research some more to make the best informed decision you can. I hope the link is helpful and that you will keep in touch and share your decision and experience with us.

Best of Luck and Take Care,
~Tuck
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Thank you for your very informative response.  Your response does  match the other things I have researched and thus am very suspicious of.  I have read that these are usually done in a surgical suite.  My doctor does have a flouriscope in his suite, and has meds for light sedation and a crash cart.  He does my pain blocks for post thoracotomy syndrome.  But I had a 4ft fall in November and landed on my back.  I have arthritis in it, and he has been doing blocks there also.  That is where he wants to do the rhizotomy in my back where the arthritis is and up higher where the nerves were affected by the thoracotomy.
I'm going to have to say no on this procedure.  My issues with him, is that he even tried to hold pain medication from me once unless I scheduled for a rhizotomy for the next appointment.  I said "absolutely not". And he ended up giving me my meds.  Something is just not right here. Thanks again.
Lilyrose
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I think your decision is wise and believe you should always should go with your "gut" feeling. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck...it's a duck!

Something doesn't sound right to me either. These procedures can make a lot of money for the practitioner. I hope this is not his motivation.

I'll look forward to hearing from you often.

And....You're Welcome,
~Tuck



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