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anyone have RFA - Radiofrequency ablation thoughts opinions etc..

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    anyone have RFA - Radiofrequency ablation thoughts opinions etc..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiofrequency_ablation

    I have increasingly worsening pain in my lower back and buttocks, to the point where I really don't want to get out of bed, sitting just kills me, really starting to push me to the edge.


    Had an Xray and MRI of the lower back.

    Apparently I get to have a test run where they do 6 injections to my lower back with steroid/or/and/lidocaine, if this is shown to relieve any pain they'll continue with the RFA !

    Injections to either side of L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1

    "Radiofrequency ablation catheter to Facet joints"

    also have moderate arthritis !

    Wondering if a tilt table would help?






    https://paindoctor.com/treatments/ra...ency-ablation/

    #2
    I had this done in an effort to reduce my 24/7 pain. It worked only on a small band of hypersensitive skin just above the break line. No relief otherwise.

    Comment


      #3
      Do you remember which vertebrae they did it to.
      and what's your injury level?
      Any side effects ??

      I'm scheduled to go have the steroid injections next week, if that is shown to effective then they apparently try the RFA.
      At this point I'm willing to try anything.

      Originally posted by MikeRobison View Post
      I had this done in an effort to reduce my 24/7 pain. It worked only on a small band of hypersensitive skin just above the break line. No relief otherwise.

      Comment


        #4
        I had it done for facet joints in the thoracic spine, but as nerves recovered it became more painful. Injections gave me better relief.

        They stimulate the nerve and if pain same in the area they then blast it with RF and burn the nerve.

        My nervous system is weird below my injury. Spinal stimulation only caused a burning sensation at 9V.

        Burning afferent nerves in me may not be a good thing.
        http://zagam.net/

        Comment


          #5
          Had the 6 steroid injections last week, had the follow up today.
          Turns out you have to report a 50% improvement in the pain to go ahead with the RFA treatment... (insurance requirement was mentioned)

          After a week.. my back is a little better no real magic
          Doctor signed me up for another 6 steroid shots in 6 weeks, and if enough of an improvement.. move on to the RFA!

          Comment


            #6
            So it seem after two weeks my back was much improved.. and I was starting to get much happier.
            You don't realize how much something it dragging you down until a little of the weight is removed as it were.
            but after another 2 weeks maybe 3 the pain is returning!!!
            So is that usual the Steroid injections only lasting for 3 weeks ??
            I'm going in for some more in a couple of weeks... I have to admit, now that I know I maybe getting some relief I'm really looking forward to them.

            Begs the question though... if I have Arthritis in my lower back joints.. L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1 etc.. what over the counter medication or treatments could I try.
            Anyone else have this experience ?

            Comment


              #7
              For me the initial steroid injections seemed to take 2 weeks to kick in and then last for around 2 weeks and then they wore off.
              As they wore off it really hit me how much the steroid injection had helped, even made the pain in my butt reduce and made me wonder about my hemorrhoid pain.
              The lower back pain just seemed to magnify the pain of everything else, as that was reduced all my other pain reduced.

              Went in for my second session of Steroid shots and they seem to have kicked in much quicker. Even managed to go swimming, so now I ache from that more than anything which is kind of novel. On track to try the RFA...

              If anyone else has anything else to report, would gladly receive it.

              Also anyone have ideas on how to treat arthritis in my lower back joint ... L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1..

              Thanks.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by NW-Will View Post
                Do you remember which vertebrae they did it to.
                and what's your injury level?
                Any side effects ??

                I'm scheduled to go have the steroid injections next week, if that is shown to effective then they apparently try the RFA.
                At this point I'm willing to try anything.
                Sorry for the delay in replying. I am a T-5 para. No side effects.

                Comment


                  #9
                  So the whole procedure turned out to be.

                  2 sets of steroid injections at L3,L4,L5.
                  First one 31 Jan 2018
                  Second one 14 Mar 2018
                  at which point you have to declare they are an 80% improvement in your pain !!!

                  Then on to have two sets of medial branch blocks again on L3,L4,L5. These give barely 12 hours of relief, the pain killers and anesthetic during the procedure probably does more.
                  A medial branch block is an injection of a strong local anesthetic on the medial branch nerves that supply the facet joints. The facet joints, also known as the zygapophysial joints, are part of the bony framework of the spine.
                  First one 5 May 2018
                  Second one 15th May 2018
                  Again you have to declare they make a noticeable difference.

                  Then on to the RFA, which it turns out is just a fancy way to say cauterization of the nerve.
                  A hollow needle is inserted, and then some kind of radio antenna is inserted, and the frequency is used to cauterize the nerve that goes to each joint.

                  Apparently this is unusual(I'm guessing some kind of insurance scam!), My doctor did the RFA on the left 3 joints L3,L4,L5, one week, then had me back the following week to do the right side same 3 joints.
                  Everyone I have since spoke to has told me they had all 6 or all 8 done in one go!

                  Interestingly though after the left side was done, the first set, my pain was much reduced and my recovery time was pretty much the next day I was up and at them and could tell a difference. During the procedure for the left side one of the needles managed to make me have a pretty decent spasm, which shook up everyone in the room, apparently they'd never seen anything like that, and I guess it really woke them all up!!

                  The right side, second set a week later, was much more uneventful, but dang I felt sore the day after.. I could barely get out of bed, and was taking 800mg ibuprofen like I had found a secret stach of M&M's.
                  Procedure was done on Tuesday it's now Saturday night and still feel crazy sore and have a lot of pain, different kind of pain, but a lot of pain, it is getting less, so fingers crossed. I have stopped taking the ibuprofen and am managing to get some sleep....

                  Another side note.. the nurse who was helping me in recovery, tells me she has had it done 8 times, swears by it.. says it usually lasts her between 12 to 18 months! Wish I'd asked her which doctor she goes to get it done with !

                  There ends the first chapter of my RFA experience.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I've wondered about RFA for my 24/7 nerve pain that engulfs literally 100% of my complete paralyzed body with extremes in the sacral region, right foot and just at my injury level (last part is dysthestesia). No doctor had suggested either steroid injections or RFA, but Cincinnati has no true SCI doctors. Seems like RFA is extreme to the point of eliminating any hope for a future cure.

                    Do either of those treatments even apply to completes?
                    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      RFA is most appropriate for those who have neuropathic pain that is limited to a specific dermatome and not as much for those who have diffuse (all over body) neuropathic pain.

                      (KLD)
                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                        RFA is most appropriate for those who have neuropathic pain that is limited to a specific dermatome and not as much for those who have diffuse (all over body) neuropathic pain.

                        (KLD)
                        What about steroid injections? I assume that's for stenosis of sorts so also not applicable?
                        T3 complete since Sept 2015.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yes, steroid injections are used for root compression (peripheral neuropathic pain), not pain from a spinal cord lesion (central neuropathic pain).

                          (KLD)
                          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sigh.
                            T3 complete since Sept 2015.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I have pain and different pain all over the place.
                              The key for the medical professionals for this was the Xray and MRI of the lower back showed arthritis of my facet joints at L3,L4, & L5.
                              From there it was an experiment to see if steroid injections at those joint gave any kind of relief.

                              From my standpoint I don't see as there is much to lose, you either get some relief or you don't. Worst case you are where you were before the injections.

                              It's certainly not magic for me, but it's definitely an improvement. Interestingly it seems to have toned down some of the other pain as well, it is as though the different pains are cumulative.

                              I'm told the nerves grow back after the cauterization, so you eventually end up back where you were, hence you have to have it redone.

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