Pain Management Community
radio frequency ablation
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to pain management, chronic pain, arthritis, back pain, cancer, headaches, movement disorders pain, and muscle pain.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

radio frequency ablation

I am suffering from chronic back pain. I have tried just about everything to manage the pain but have been frustrated with the results. My doctor has suggested Radio Frequency Ablation. I would like to know if anyone here hase gone through this and what their experience has been. I understand the patient must be awake for the procedure so they can tell the doctor where the pain is. This sounds a little medieval.
Related Discussions
13 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
725248_tn?1316165845
I had it done and it did not help me in the least, one thing to note is that its not reverseable, my new pain doctor ask me why I would let anyone do that to me, so he must not be a fan of the procedure.  I have had the facet injections, epidurals and RF ablation, none of these procedures worked for me.  Good luck
Blank
547368_tn?1332173665
Hi Yo,

Welcome to the Pain Mangement Forum. I am sorry that you are hurting. We all know that chronic pain is a difficult journey that presents us with difficult choices.

RFB is not something that I would consent to have done. That does not mean that it is not successful in reducing pain is some individuals. In my opinion you are taking th correct approach, learn all you can about the procedure. Read and research the pros and cons. Talk to others that have had it done, preferably someone that has had the procedure done by the practitioner that will be doing yours. Research on the Internet. Pull it up in several ways, complications, physicians, clinics and change the wording that you search under. You will find lots of information in that manner.

Once your have educated yourself it is than that you can make an informed decision to determine if it is right for you. I hope you will share your decision with us. If you have the procedure please let us know how successful it is for you. We all learn from one another. I will look forward to your updates. Best of luck to you.

Take Care,
Tuck
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I am going through kaiser, they aren't very forthcoming with patient information. The procedure involves a "test" in which I am injected with a "numbing agent" and cortizone. If it helps the pain short term, I a good candidate for the procedure. The thing is, I'm at a point where at times I'm ready to have my lower extremities amputated to stop the pain. I can't take vicodin for ever, besides, it doesn't give me all the much relief. I'm learning as much as I can about the procedure and I'm uneasy about it. That being said, what other options do I have?
Blank
547368_tn?1332173665
Sorry I am late getting back to you. If you are in so much pain that you have like you would like to amputate your lower extremities this may be an option for you. Although there are times, like tonight, I wish someone would amputate my right leg beginning at the SI Joint, which is pretty high and probably impossible. But I do where you are coming from in that helps.

I assume you are having sciatic pain. It is horrid!! Vicodin isn't a very strong opiate. Have you tried a stronger opiate, especially a slow release, long acting one or a muscle relaxants or neurontin? Of course medications will not cure you or stop the pain but often finding the right one can provide some releif.  

Some years ago a PM Clinic offered me something similar to what you are considering. In their opinion it would "kill" the nerve and end my pain. However I would be left with a leg that basically was "dead" in a large area.  I asked if I would be able to feel a cut or a wound and the response was no. I honestly don't know if you would have the same results with a RFA. One of my concerns was that at some time I may develop diabetes and would be unable to feel an injury and develop complications. Diabetes is rampant in my family. It may seem like a foolish reason but it played a part in my decision. As it turned out that diagnosis was incorrect. The procedure would have been pointless as they would have been killing the wrong nerve.    

Please don't take just my opinion. There are others that have had this procedure and have had good results. If the facility is not very forth coming with information that would concern me. They should be doing a lot of patient teaching.

Please let us know how you are doing. I will look forward to your updates.
Tuck
Blank
725248_tn?1316165845
Like I had mentioned in my last post, the thing you need to remember is that it cannot be reversed, my pain doctor was floored that I would let anyone do that to me.  He apparently is not a fan of RF Abalation.  It provided me with no relief.  Make sure you are fully comfortable with your doctor and if not get a second opinion.  I am not trying to scare you, just trying to encourage you to seek out all information you can before you jump into this.  I meyself have had the worst experience with everything that has went on with my back.  You hear the stories about a doctor cutting off a wrong limb, well my experience has not been that severe in that nothing was cut off, but the service I have recieved or not recieved from my doctors has been short of criminal.  Good luck
Chuck
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I recently submitted myself to the recommended RF Ablation procedure after a fall at work and ongoing headaches for 7 months. I did all they suggested while they insinuated my complaints were all but phsycological.  NOT!!! The area where the ablation was done is now as painful as the headaches themselves. Oh yes... the headachs are less painful and much less frequent. But I can't even be touched in the procedure area after almost three weeks.It feels as if I were being stuck with a needle again?  

.Is this a common effect?
Blank
999546_tn?1250250648
I have had RFA done to left and ride side of my neck due to migraines and bulging disc C3-7. Here's the real kicker...When the left side was done, it was suppose to be the right because the left side of my neck had never even been discussed. The doc just played it off like "Well you would have had to do both sides eventually anyways". Yes you are awake the whole time other than the pain pill and 2 valiums they have you take an hour ahead of time, and one more valium afterwards. It is a very unpleasant experience and for me I did notice a decrease in headaches but the RFA supposedly only last 12-18 months before the nerves reattach themselves and then the procedure would need to be redone. I would think very carefully before doing this, unless you are in extreme pain that all other conservative treatments have failed I wouldn't do it.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have not done the procedure, have put it off for the time being. My Dr. was going to put me on some slow release meds. He said it was morphine so I backed away and asked for more time to get it under control and for percoset for now. Today I am having another flair up and it's enough to want to do anything to make it stop. I don't believe ANY pain meds will help this! I  am sick and tired of the pills and side effects but I am unwilling to have my back messed with. I've done more research on the RFA and am not sure I want that, yet. Even with the pain I'm having today I'm not ready to have something that they can't guarantee won't cause numbness in other areas.  
Blank
547368_tn?1332173665
Sorry it's Tuck and not Lisah38, but It's good to hear from you again Yo. II am sorry that it is due to another severe pain flare.

I do encourage you to try something more than Percocet. You don't know it they will help if you don't try them. There are also other meds they could correlate with them to enhance their ability to reduce and control the pain. I have often said I would eat dodo if I thought it would help. I obviously don't encourage that approach but it may be time to give some stronger narcotics a trial and error. What do you have to loose but some pain?

I understand not going through with the procedure. I didn't and I am satisfied with my choice. You're correct there are no guarantees with RFA.

Thank you again for the update. I do encourage you to treat the pain in other forms. And please continue to let us know how you are doing. Best of luck.

Take Care,
Tuck
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
today is better, so far. I don't want to get too deep into narcotics if I can find another way 'round. I don't think anything short of being unconscious will help the pain when it flairs. I do know that when I stop using the percoset altogether, the pain is there more than I thought. My Dr. wants me to just use the meds "on an as needed basis". Problem is I seem to need something more than ibuprofin most of the time. I want to learn to get by on less but I'm struggling.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Don't be afraid of the narcotics.  I am not pushing them, but if you have a pain management doctor that can find the right mix for you that can help you live somewhat of a normal life it is worth trying.  
Blank
547368_tn?1332173665
I'm glad that yesterday was better for you and I certainly understand your concern regarding opiates. I am not an advocate for narcotics for occasional pain flares or when other methods will work. None of us want to be dependant on a pill.

I am an advocate for opiates when it comes to quality of life. If you are in constant severe pain and that pain interferes with all aspects of your life, can't get out of bed or if you do can't stay upright for long, have problems eating, can't sleep or be a companion to your significant other or children it's time to look for options. Opiates when used according to physicians directions and under his/her supervision can make a huge difference in your life.

You may not be at the point and I hope you never are there. Just understand that their are responsible ppl that require opiates every day because they have no other choices. It is not a sign of weakness or failure. I hope you will continue to feel better. We are here if you need to chat, vent or just need some support, no matter what your decision may be.  
Blank
1222962_tn?1268834130


Hello, I'm new here in this forum. Although, I think I had a diff user name a long time ago. I wanted to add something about the RFA procedure. I had it done for the third time yesterday.

I wasn’t looking forward to having it done again either. It is “very” painful. The doctor I’m seeing now, used to be a trauma surgeon, I’m not sure if that makes a difference or not, but it didn’t hurt as much. I didn’t take any valium before or after. They forgot to call it in. So I went in nervous as heck. The doctor did give me some sedation through an IV. Too bad it was not enough to put me asleep through the procedure.

With the outcome, it is worth it to me. On a normal day, my pain rates between a 7 to 8, that is normal for me. Today, my pain can be rated about a 3 and maybe even at a 2. I can sit at my desk, write, research, and do a little bit of house work. Not as much as there needs done. But, time will help heal the muscel pain that patients have soon after the procedure.

I had six nerves in my cervical spine burnt. I agree with you, that having to think about doing it again in the future, is the greatest downfall. After all, people who live with chronic pain want the problem fixed not patched.

My latest MRI showed some different findings and I'd like to post them here to see if a doctor on here could tell me if the results (today) can be fixed by fusion in certain areas. I know a diagnosis cannot be made on an MRI result alone.

In the past, when I saw countless surgeons about the pain, the response was similar: 'The MRI is not impressive." Impressive or not, the pain is sure impressive. I don't underrated what it is so hard to get the problem causing the pain fixed.

Sorry for venting here. I know the pain, and unfortunately,
it knows many of us. It's too bad, we cannot get the care we need, to fix the problem causing the pain.

Good Luck to you Lisah38

PS. I'm writing for a grant, in hopes of doing a book publication. I'm looking for people with disabilities who like writing, or have a book in progress. Just an FYI. I don’t' want my post to seem like spam, so I'll refrain from any website addresses. :)
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Pain Management Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Pain Answerers
7721494_tn?1408157057
Blank
philnoir
Four Corners, CO
535089_tn?1400677119
Blank
Mollyrae
WI
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
trixy71
1855076_tn?1337118903
Blank
marycarmel
MA
1193998_tn?1265121197
Blank
carolanivey
OH
8976007_tn?1400955760
Blank
Jinx_777