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