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Cervical Rhizotomy - Pros & Con - Newbie Here!

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Unread 12-03-2012, 05:14 PM   #1
Kateinbluebell
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Default Cervical Rhizotomy - Pros & Con - Newbie Here!

Hello to all! I just joined and am in need of some opinions.

Some background - I am 52 years young and was diagnosed in June 2012 with cervical spinal stenosis (yes, a catch-all diagnosis) following an MRI -- after over three years of neck/shoulder/back pain.

Over the last few months, I've had three sets of epidural steroids with not much impact. I also had facet injecions in four discs, which gave amazing pain reduction for a whopping 10 hours. A spur was detected during one of the procedures. Unfortunately, I experienced a lot of face and lower extremity swelling during all of this, plus the pain was still there. Two weeks ago, my pain med doc said we should consider a rhizotomy, but we had to wait for swelling to subside. In the interim, he prescribed a lotion potion containing gabapentin for use in the meantime. It has helped, but not a lot.

I went for a follow up visit this afternoon, and he is recommending we go ahead with the rhizotomy on Wednesday of next week. It will be done under twilight anesthesia...apparently I will need to communicate to him mid-procedure. Ugh! I'd rather be knocked out! He said many patients do not even remember having chatted! He has not made me any promises of fabulous success, since my issues are mechanical (joint/spur) and physiological (nerves). We don't know which is truly causing the pain in my four affected discs.

Anyway, in googling this procedure, I've read some stories that cause me concern. If any of you have had the procedure, I would very much appreciate your sharing the experience -- good or bad!

Thanks so much! Sorry to have been long-winded!

Kate
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Unread 12-03-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
ginnie
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Default Hi Kateinbluebell

Welcome to Neuro Talk. Glad you found this forum. None of us are experts, but we do try to help each other. I have heard of rhizotomy from a nurse friend of mine. It can also be called radiofrequency ablation. She experienced no pain during the proceedure, and was quite numb for months. She was told that it is a temporary proceedure, that lasts 5 months or so until the nerves grow back. Do write a list of questions for your doctor, and google up the proceedure. You should do just fine. Neuro Talk will be here to support you in every way we can. I wish you all the best. None of it is fun, but if it helps, it is worth going through. Voice any concerns you have to your doctor. don't be afraid to speak up. Take care. ginnie
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Unread 12-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
Kateinbluebell
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Default Many thanks!

Ginny,

So many thanks! I will be makin' a list and checkin' it twice -- for my doc! I very much appreciate your help!

Kate
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Unread 12-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
Kateinbluebell
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Default Ummm...Ginnie!

Ginnie,

I misspelled your name...I apologize. I'll get it right next time!

Kate
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Unread 12-04-2012, 10:22 AM   #5
Leesa
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Hi ~ I had Rhizotomy done, and unfortunately it didn't work for me. It's supposed to be done within 6 mos - 1 1/2 yrs after surgery. Well, he did mine 2 yrs after surgery and it just didn't work. My scar tissue had already become hard and thickened.

After it was done, all I felt was just a bit of aching but that was normal anyway. I usually feel a horrlble ache & lots of pain anyway. By the time the anesthesia wore off, I was back to the horrible ache & pain.

I sure wish it had worked cause it would have saved me years of pain. It's been about 10 years since I've had that done, and it's been a nightmare. I hope it works for you -- I'll keep you in my prayers. PLEASE -- let us know if it works, will you? I'd really like to know. God bless & please take care. Hugs, Lee
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recovering alcoholic, sober since 7-29-93;severe depression; 2 open spinal surgeries; severe sciatica since 1986; epidurals; trigger points; myelograms; Rhizotomy; Racz procedure; spinal cord stimulator implant (and later removal); morphine pump trial (didn't work);now inoperable; lumpectomy; radiation; breast cancer survivor; heart attack; fibromyalgia; on disability.



Often the test of courage is not to die, but to live..
.................................................. ...............Orestes
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