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New here, ? on Facet joint rhizotomy

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Unread 06-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #1
Shorty2U
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Default New here, ? on Facet joint rhizotomy

Hi, I just joined the site yesterday to chat w people other than doctors who have gone thru what I go thru.
I have many issues w my back and have had epidurals, facet joint shots, all of which worked. I am schedueled for a Faccet joint rhizotomy or radio frequency burning? of the nerves. if you had this done can you please tell me your story because I am scared to death to get it.
Thanks so much and nice to meet all of you.
Shorty 2 U
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Unread 06-07-2007, 01:06 AM   #2
Bobbi
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I've had the nerve nuking (ablation or burning of nerves) and, for me, done bilaterally at, generally, 4 levels during each procedure.

The worse part? The unfamiliar... if never have undergone the procedure previously. The unknown is the most frightening, and, quite rightfully so. I liken it to going through childbirth: I have never been through it, and can only empathize with friends whom have delivered children. To me, it is just so scary.

It - the nerve nuking - sounds a lot worse than it is (at least as far as my experience has been). I was so out of it: Conscious sedation with Versed, or, as some term it, laa-laa land. The reasoning? So the doc can do evocatives, but without the patient carrying away memory of any pain evoked during the procedure.

I would never have RF (nerve nuking) done if the doc is not using a C-Arm or live-guided x-ray. If the doc is not doing so, it means, may as well take a blindfold and a Black & Decker to yourself. It's akin to hit-and-miss. The live-guided allows for accurate and precise placement of the needle used to heat up the nerves, which do not "die" immediately; it takes some time for the effects to take place - up to a couple of weeks.

You may feel increased pain or a temporary worsening of symptoms for a time. Those feelings, however, should dissipate within a couple of weeks.

Be sure to follow pre-op and post-op instructions to the letter. It will help immensely.

Also, surround yourself with positive thoughts or influences (people, media, etc.) in the days prior. You want to set yourself up for success.

I'd also not take any aspirin, if you may, for a least 5 days prior. I'd hydrate well for at least 10 hours prior to when fasting is slated to commence. I'd also eat soothing foods beforehand - such as pasta. Anything likely to cause a stomach upset I'd avoid.

I'd also wear loose clothing (slip-on type) and sandals, along with taking a blanket and sunglasses - for the return trip home.

I would just kick back for a couple days following, and have ice packs to help ease pain.

If you've questions about other ideas that may help, I'd be sure to ask the doc doing the procedure.

And, still, the big thing to remember, is: You might feel worse before feeling better.

P.S.: The nerves are not permanently "deadened"; they will regenerate with time (usually or most typically within about 18 months). The procedure, if deemed helpful in terms of pain reduction, can be repeated.
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Unread 06-11-2007, 02:18 PM   #3
Shorty2U
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I had the facet rhizotomy done cold turkey on Friday. Thought it was nothing, just like getting shots. I have ok results on the left so far, but its early yet. I get the right side done at the end of the month, I hope it works on that side for long because thats my worst pain side. Thanks for your answers and advice.
Hugs
Deb
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Unread 06-21-2007, 08:08 PM   #4
DaisyMae
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I'm having this same thing done in July, lower lumbar, and too I don't know much about it, only what my doc. has told me but would like to know more. Thanks Bobbi, for the info. I remember you from BT, I used to post there, but always have trouble getting on, so I'm here now.
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Unread 06-22-2007, 02:32 AM   #5
Bobbi
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DaisyMae, while the procedure definitely is not a "walk in the park" feeling, if the doctor doing the procedure is using state-of-the-art technology, the doc is basically guided straight to the area where to perform the ablation or nerve nuking.

I'll be candid - just remembering how scared I was of the unknown and wanting info.: Lumbar nerve nuking was not a cozy feeling once I got home. The symptoms, for me, did worsen temporarily and I also had insomnia (likely due to how much I slept immediately after I got home).

The best thing I discovered very quickly, and on my own, was the importance of reducing negativity. Just surround yourself with positive or happy thoughts the days leading into your procedure. Don't worry about how others may take it; that's not your prob. and you can choose to explain later why you might isolate or insulate (from certain influences); you don't have to but only if you might want to.

You gotta take care of number one: That's YOU . Everything else can and will wait.

Before your procedure, also make sure to have an area, for rest, set up for when you return home.

Just take it easy .

Have a soft place to rest, ice for pain, and don't worry about being polite toward people whom may phone to check up on you. There is always: Later. When you need to do what's right for you, you can go into it more if you want later.

The worsening of pain or symptoms can last around 14 days, for some. That's not saying you will feel crummy that duration, only that it might be worse for a time before you feel relief. The relief, however, can last for many months, like 18 . It'd be super if you get the max. relief! I hope you do.

P.S.: Get some comfort foods to have on-hand following; grogginess and just plain feeling tired at times, you might not feel like cooking (and I don't know if you have others around whom also extend help). Happy foods, that's what I call them. Salads are number one on my list, but I also love Mexican food. The idea is, just get some foods on hand that will make it even easier for you but won't pack on pounds. (If your doc is using Steroids, weight gain is also a possibility.)
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Unread 11-21-2007, 04:42 PM   #6
ellenkort
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Default How long to know if Lumbar RF worked?

Hi... I had the RF procedure done one week ago (after diagnostic block previously.) HOW LONG UNTIL THE NERVES DIE? if in fact, they do die?
It's 9 days... and my back feels a bit worse than before... I'm hoping that the reason is because the nerves are trying to die... but that may be wishful thinking... Any thoughts on this... My doctor said one week... but the nurse said 'longer'.
Many thanks, Ellen
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Unread 08-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #7
laurena1
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Default rhizotomy aftereffects

Hello all

I had a lumbar rhizotomy almost a month ago. I had had the spinal injections in April and I tell you, they were fantastic. I went from a high level of pain to no pain. That lasted about a 1.5 months and it was starting to come back. So I was referred to a dr. for a rhizotomy. I was told I was the perfect candidate. Hey, sign me up. I read a lot ahead of time. Then I had the procedure. I was very nervous as well. It didn't seem too bad. They said lay low for a couple of days. A sheet of post op instructions said no lifting more than 10 lbs for a week (followed that). Also said no yard work, gardening or vacuuming for 2 weeks. Well, after a couple of days, I felt pretty good and potted a couple of plants. My back got sore so I backed off. Two days later, felt ok, so I pulled a few weeds. Then I backed off. The day before the 2 weeks, I washed one of our dogs. Boy, then the back got really sore and I really backed off from thing. I just had my follow up check up and was honest with the dr. of what I had been doing. He didn't seem too concerned but did say that sometimes it takes a month for things to settle down but we were almost there. He suggested some physical therapy which I've set up but not started yet. I told him I fully realized that I may have done this to myself, but again, he didn't seem too concerned. I must admit, I'm a little disappointed. I was so excited after the injections, that I was expecting the same from this. Don't get me wrong. The pain is not incapacitating, but it is uncomfortable and about the same as prior to the procedure. I'm really trying to be positive about this and hope that maybe I've just slowed the recovery down. But I am surprised that since the nerves have been cut, why do I feel anything? Has anyone else noticed this length of time for recovery? I guess I could always go back in and get the spinal injections again since the facet joints haven't changed, just the nerves.
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Unread 09-09-2008, 07:49 PM   #8
turtle12
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Blush good information

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbi View Post
I've had the nerve nuking (ablation or burning of nerves) and, for me, done bilaterally at, generally, 4 levels during each procedure.

The worse part? The unfamiliar... if never have undergone the procedure previously. The unknown is the most frightening, and, quite rightfully so. I liken it to going through childbirth: I have never been through it, and can only empathize with friends whom have delivered children. To me, it is just so scary.

It - the nerve nuking - sounds a lot worse than it is (at least as far as my experience has been). I was so out of it: Conscious sedation with Versed, or, as some term it, laa-laa land. The reasoning? So the doc can do evocatives, but without the patient carrying away memory of any pain evoked during the procedure.

I would never have RF (nerve nuking) done if the doc is not using a C-Arm or live-guided x-ray. If the doc is not doing so, it means, may as well take a blindfold and a Black & Decker to yourself. It's akin to hit-and-miss. The live-guided allows for accurate and precise placement of the needle used to heat up the nerves, which do not "die" immediately; it takes some time for the effects to take place - up to a couple of weeks.

You may feel increased pain or a temporary worsening of symptoms for a time. Those feelings, however, should dissipate within a couple of weeks.

Be sure to follow pre-op and post-op instructions to the letter. It will help immensely.

Also, surround yourself with positive thoughts or influences (people, media, etc.) in the days prior. You want to set yourself up for success.

I'd also not take any aspirin, if you may, for a least 5 days prior. I'd hydrate well for at least 10 hours prior to when fasting is slated to commence. I'd also eat soothing foods beforehand - such as pasta. Anything likely to cause a stomach upset I'd avoid.

I'd also wear loose clothing (slip-on type) and sandals, along with taking a blanket and sunglasses - for the return trip home.

I would just kick back for a couple days following, and have ice packs to help ease pain.

If you've questions about other ideas that may help, I'd be sure to ask the doc doing the procedure.

And, still, the big thing to remember, is: You might feel worse before feeling better.

P.S.: The nerves are not permanently "deadened"; they will regenerate with time (usually or most typically within about 18 months). The procedure, if deemed helpful in terms of pain reduction, can be repeated.
Hello, I am brand new hear and am set up for an initial physical and discussion in 2 weeks. My major pain is down both legs as well as in back. I am also scared to death. Thanks for the information. I will keep reading. Turtle12
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Unread 09-23-2008, 10:59 PM   #9
KDShan
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Trutle12-

I had a rhyzotomy last spring and it was the greatest relief for my back pain! It is sore for a few day after the procedure,but then the benefits greatly outweigh the temp. discomfort! Also, the way I looked at it was I had gone through so much, that it couldn't be worse than some of the other stuff (ex-MANY EMG's and all the back tests). It lasted 4 months for me, and i amd scheduled to get anpther one.
Y0u may have had it by tthe time you read this post, but I hope it went well and you get as much relief as I did.
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Unread 12-29-2010, 07:43 AM   #10
helen mentz
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Default rhizotomy

I am due next month for my second lot of rhizotomys. The previous was two years ago and it worked well and lasted for 18 months. The operation was done in the lumbar region, the top of my back and my neck. My mobility improved immensely as did the pain. However, I am hearing stories of a side side effect of possible loss of some bladder control from other people and wondering myself if this could be so. I do not know if this could be so. midgley
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