648944 tn?1241469694

Radio frequency asplasia (spelling?)

Hi, everybody.

I have started recently with a new pain management specialist, who appears to be leading me towards what I believe is called radio frequency asplasia, or something similar to that.  We have done the first of a series of injections of something akin to a local anesthetic into the spinal facet areas, and have scheduled another one in about three weeks.  According to the Dr., if two of three of the facet injection treatments "work" (i.e. successfully block pain in the target area for about 18 hours), I am considered a good candidate for the asplasia, or whatever the proper name is.  I gather that the "asplasia" procedure involves the insertion of eight needles (four on each side), through which the Dr. applies about 180 degrees of heat, which will deaden the relevant nerve(s) for a period on the order of one year.  Then, presumably, the procedure has to be repeated, as the nerve grows back.

Does anybody out there have experience with this treatment/procedure?  Was it effective?  To what degree?  Did the effects last as long as expected?  Was there any problem dealing with the application of the heat? (Instinctively, I would think not, as 180 degrees is about the same as one experiences in proper Scandanavian saunas, and I didn't have any problem there--but how have others felt?).  Were there any side effects or after effects?  Is there anything else I should be aware of in considering this treatment?

I'd be grateful for anything at all you can tell me, folks.  You guys are great!!  Thanks very much in advance....fpainestam
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Avatar universal
Did you ever have this procedure done?  I am scheduled to have it this coming Monday and am trying to find the exact answeres to the questions you asked on the Radio Frequency Abilation.  thanks
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648944 tn?1241469694
Hi, Tuckamore, Mollyrae and others.  I appreciate your input, and would certainly welcome more if it should arise.  I am mainly concerned about possible negative side effects--absent those, there would be little risk in trying the procedure.  I think I've tried almost everything else...

The reason for my sporadic appearance is that I tend to write only when I feel that I have something to contribute.  I actually try to pay a daily visit, though...However, I'm still working, so sometimes I don't make it.

Again, many thanks for your thoughts.  fpainestam
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547368 tn?1440541785
Thanks Mollyrae. I couldn't remember who had it done. I think there is another member too but I can't remember the name. My memory is not what it should be.
Again, thanks for your help
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535089 tn?1400673519
Hi fpainestam:

There is a member here that has had this done a few times and can give you some excellent info on the proceedure. Her name is "Shellbell79" she can really help you. I will try and contact her and see if she can give you the info you need. Take care,
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547368 tn?1440541785

Welcome back. I haven't "seen" you here for awhile. I have not had RFA (Radiofrequency nerve ablation). I think that is what you mean. It has become widely utilized for a variety of medical conditions.  

Radiofrequency nerve ablation is the term used when radio waves are generated  and used to produce heat.  By generating heat around a nerve, the nerves ability to transmit pain is destroyed, thus ablating the nerve.

Radiofrequency ablation is used to destroy the nerves that supply the facet joints in the spine.  These joints are the small posterior joints on either side of the spine.  These joints can be one source of back pain. I have heard of this procedure but have decided against it. I have heard both good and bad.

The nerves do grow back. I have read that the approximate time of effectiveness is 6 months. Some patients do reach the 12 month mark without significant return of their pain. During the months without pain it is the goal to strengthen the muscles surround the facet joints thus reducing the pain when it returns.

Complications are uncommon, but you should know what to watch for if they occur. Some of the most common complications following radiofrequency ablation include

Numbness-nerve damage
Allergic reaction
Lack of pain relief

If there is a complication out there I will get it. That the reason I have not even considered the procedure. That dos not mean you are not a good candidate for the procedure. It may well be the answer to your pain or at least it may minimize it.

Others will post with there opinions and suggestions. There may be a few here that have even had the procedure. I wish you the best of luck. Please let us know how you are doing. We all learn from one another. And as always, Take care, Tuck
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