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RadioFrequency?
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Queenb3311 posted:
Dr. want me to do this next Thurs? Was wondering if anyone has had this done? How was it? Did it help? Scared but excited to see if it will help for my neck pain.
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maltlover responded:
I have had this done 3 times, but it was my lumbar region. My dr. administered some pain meds during the procedure so it was pretty well painless. Is a pain managment specialist going to do yours? There is more than one type of nerve ablation.....do you know what kind he will be doing?

I can tell you that I experienced a good deal of relief with mine, but again, that was lumbar. Hopefully someone who has had a cervical ablation will respond.

Carol
 
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Queenb3311 replied to maltlover's response:
Thank you lots:)
 
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swgusr responded:
I had RF done about 2 years ago. First they did a trial and it seemed to help a little. When they implated for good it didn't seem to do much if anything to help. Had it removed a few weeks ago. Another issue that I had is that they battery life was only about 8-10 hours between charges and it took about 8 hours to charge up. The model that I had was from Medtronics. I know that some people report great results. Hope you will to. Good luck.
 
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bj1208 replied to swgusr's response:
hi swgusr - i don't think you are referring to the radio frequency nerve ablation - i believe you had a spinal cord stimulator implant done -

the radio frequency nerve ablation is where a frequency is used to deaden certain areas that may be causing pains - i had this done 2 times and did not have any relief -

i also had the trial spinal cord stimulator implant - had this trial done one day and had it removed the next day as it was not giving me any relief -

hope this helps clarify things - take care - Joy~~
 
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Hollie55 responded:
Hi Queenb3311, I have also had RF done but to my lumbar spine and it was successful. I have two friends that have had cervical RF done and they both report relief. It seems from my research that there is about a 75% chance of this procedure being successful and a lot depends on the expertise of the doctor performing it. Not only in terms of the accuracy of needle placement but also the ability to diagnose if you are indicated for it.

I would ask your doctor how much experience he has had and if he is going to do it under "conscious sedation", which means you are drugged but not asleep like in a GA. You posted this 4 days ago so I might be too late but if you experience pain during the procedure, ask your anaesthetist before the op, to monitor your responses and if necessary, administer some more sedation. According to those in the know, you should be awake so that the doctor can communicate with you to confirm his needle placement accuracy. Let us know but be warned, it takes a couple of weeks before the full effect of RF is experienced. Hollie55
 
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Queenb3311 replied to Hollie55's response:
Thanks soooo much Hollie, had it done this past thursday and I will have another one next wk. I hope this does the job!
 
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Hollie55 replied to Queenb3311's response:
Hi Queenb, for the benefit of others who are contemplating a Radio Frequency procedure, can you describe your experience during the procedure? Was it sore and how quickly did you feel pain relief?

I did some more research and this procedure has been explained to me as follows; our nerves have a protective coating of 'fat' just like an electric cable has a protective plastic coating and RF has the effect of 'burning' off the protective layer of fat, which causes interruption of the message of pain to the brain. This gives the muscles a chance to relax and allow the body to heal itself where it can.

Over a period of time (it varies from months to 3 to 4 years), the fat layer is restored, which means the message of pain can be transmitted again. The experts tell me that is when you simply repeat the RF procedure. It helps if the RF lasts for a couple of years because its not that cheap. Hollie55
 
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bj1208 replied to Hollie55's response:
hi hollie55 - i had this done 2 times almost 3 years ago - they did it 2 weeks apart - it really wasn't any different than the epidural shots - they numb you and then insert the leads and will put the needle in the place where the nerve fatty tissue is - they will ask you questions as to if you feel it and where you feel it etc - this way they can make sure they are getting the right places (oh yes all done under a florascopic x-ray machine) -

unfortunately i was not one of the lucky ones as it did no good for me - i had no pain relief -

there are other members who have had this done and have had great results - hopefully they will see this post and respond - if not you may want to start your own discussion on this - take care - Joy~~
 
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imachildagain replied to bj1208's response:
How frustrating to not have any of this work for you. I had a bad auto accident in 1971, now bone spurs, bad discs, arthritis, etc. has taken it's toll. Have been through P.T. for 21 years, pain docs with the strongest meds imaginable, cortisone shots galore, epidural injections (never worked), finally the nerve cutting after the 1st cervical fusion. Right, then left, both seemed to work for 6 months. Also lumbar right and left, both seemed to work for 6 months. Then major fusion and grafting L4-S1, resulting in 9 months with scar tissue wrapping around screws and severe nerve pain from waist down. Had the spinal cord stimulator implanted, and has been the biggest blessing in my life for the last 4 months. Also had a 2nd neck fusion, which now has caused disc problems from C2-C7. They don't want to fuse any more, so did epidurals, of course didn't work. Did the nerve block and worked incredibly well, 2 whole days of no pain, then back to feeling like someone kicked me in the back between C6-C7 and C2-C5 severe nerve pain, causing pain and numbness down one arm, both shoulders, little movement in my neck and 24 hour intense headaches. As the block worked, they did the nerve cutting on the right cervical, but of course no one told me that cutting up higher C2- C3 can cause extreme pain for 1-2 weeks. It's been 12 days now, started after 2 days and seems worse every day. I can't function. Hope it abates soon, and then the waiting of 2-6 weeks for hopefully the nerves to calm down and cut the pain, but with my past, it's either 6 months or not at all. I'm dealing with a good, but very difficult doc that doesn't want to hear what I have to say, but after all these surgeries (17 procedures for him alone) 3 fusions ankle surgery and fusion 3 knee surgeries last year on the same knee, this neck/headache pain is ready to do me in. Not sure how to tactfully try to get through to this doc that I think it's time to try the spinal cord stimulator trial on my neck. I want my life back!
 
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bj1208 replied to imachildagain's response:
hi Imachildagain - welcome to the support group -

WOW! I'm not sure what to say - you've had so much done and a lot of procedures that have worked for you - I am glad that you have had some relief with the nerve endings being burned - I have spoke to several members who have had this done and have had it last up to a year and sometimes longer - As I had said, I had this done 2 times within 2 week period - and the most I felt relief was from the numbing agent so about 30-45 minutes of relief - found out after 4 years of cortisone shots that I have a reaction to them - I turn bright red in chest and arms and have burning sensation there too - plus the part with empty stomach for about 2-3 weeks - I could eat several meals one right after the other and not feel full plus they didn't work - the numbing agent is what gave me relief -

I had the 'trial' stimulator implant and was told by the supplier (he assisted doc in surgery) that I was ATYPICAL - at that time I didn't know what that meant - just means that what normally works for others does not work for me - I had the trial done on a Thursday morning and had it removed the next day - it took the pains away in my legs but made the pains in my lower back increase trifold - I've also tried the TENS Unit - it caused increase pains

Last year I had bad pains in my hips because of the way I walk and sleep at night - so my pain doc said he could do a shot consisting of numbing agent and anti-inflammatory - so did left hip and the next week did the right - so far it's working very well - so thought why not try the back??!! he did the first injections (facet joints an piriformus muscles as it covers the sciatic nerves in upper buttocks) went back 2 weeks later and told him it didn't work - so he said no more shots - the fusion I had done (Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 on 2/25/08) was a success on that part but nothing worked for the lower back pains or nerve damage in both legs - My pains increased last year so had current CT Scan and MRI - now I have 3 bulging discs (L4; L3; L2) and the Orthopedic Spine Specialist I saw said NO to surgery stating it would only increase my pains - so besides all the treatments imaginable over the last 5 years I've been to 6 different PT's - seems everything I try makes it worse -

I am taking 60mg morphine sulfate 4Xdaily; 15mg oxycodone every 4 hours for breakthru pains; 600mg neurontin 2 tabs 3Xdaily - the pain meds are just barely keeping the pain levels at 9 and the neurontin does help reduce the pains in both legs about 25-30% - and boy can I tell a difference if I miss my afternoon dosage!! LOL

I can understand you wanting your life back - I do too - especially to work - can't sit in front of computer more than 30 minutes otherwise I'm hurting - standing/sitting/walking/riding in car and/or driving - same - so I do understand your frustration there -

You may want to ask your doc if he would prescribe neurontin (gabapentin is generic) to see if that will help with the nerve pain issues - Lyrica is also another med that is good for this too -

I hope you can get the relief you are needing - let us know what happens - take care - Joy~~
 
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imachildagain replied to bj1208's response:
Joy, I am surprised that they removed the trial stimulator after 1 day. I've heard it's normally 3-7 days, mine was 4. I sure wish it had worked for you as it's a miracle for me. But if it was causing other pain to increase, I guess that was the reason to remove it so soon.

As for my neck, I'd stopped the Gabapentin when they started the nerve cutting again, just to make sure the med wasn't masking the relief from the process. But with so much increased pain, I started the Gabapentin again after you mentioned it, and my arm is better. The Lyrica I liked better, but $45./month versus $5./month, I'll take Gabapentin. Both worked equally well for me, but the Gabapentin had me running into furniture and walls for months. But after being off for about a month, after starting again, I'm not hardly tipsy at all.

I freaked out just reading the meds you're taking and to still have little relief, they had me on Oxycontin and 6 other high powered meds years ago, and I up and quit. I felt like a zombie and with such little relief I didn't want to be an addict. I started self-help meditation, accupressure techniques, self-hypnosis, and eventually surgery. I resent every medication I have to take.

I'm not sure I understand why your first lumbar surgery helped and spine specialist says another one won't help. Have you tried a 2nd opinion.

I know we're not doctors, but what I have problems with is that some of the doctors and especially P.T.'s don't realize that we are the ones in pain and we know our body much better than they do. P.T.'s aren't helpful to me over time......just give me the basics of exercise, stretches, heat/ice, etc. and I'm self-motivated and will do the work at home. I have an exercise bike, a sophisticated traction unit for my neck, all the stretch cords, balls, dumbells, and instruction sheets for every P.T. I've been to. All I can do to help myself I prefer.

I could just cry for you though with those meds and still a pain level of 9. Many of the meds make me too sleepy, and I need mental control during the day, so I don't take the Neurontin, Valium, Ativan during the day, but I do sleep much better with them at night.

I found instead of every 4 months getting shots of cortisone for bursa sac pain in hips, when it starts, I rest more and use ice packs and soon calms down.

PM me any time, maybe something will just click that someone tells you and even a tiny bit of relief is great.
 
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bj1208 replied to imachildagain's response:
hi imachildagain - well the trial stimulator implant was a disaster - it did great for the pains in my legs but made the pains in my lower back increase trifold - they did adjustments and the pains just kept getting worse - so when I went in the next morning they wanted to move the leads into different areas - I told them know and to just get them out - it's funny cause I had the machine off but once they pulled the leads out I could feel the pressure being released -

as for the 3 more bulging disc - the ortho surgeon said that they would have to go in and remove the plate, screws and cage and do a multilevel fusion - he said that the things that grow around the fusion are nasty - he said rods would have to be put in - and that since the first surgery did nothing for the pains that this would only add to it - i did see a neurosurgeon too - he agreed with the ortho saying it would only add to my pains

the assistant that helped with the stimulator implant said that I was ATYPICAL meaning what works for others does not work for me - which makes since as steroid injections; facet joint injections TENS Unit, physical therapy - everything I have tried has not worked - I've always gotten adverse reactions.

i should be a walking zombie with all the meds i'm on but it's just enough to take the edge off - so i keep telling them how i'm doing and what i'm dong-

take care - talk to you later - Joy~~
 
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kme385608 replied to bj1208's response:
Joy,
Tha is my fear the pain dr called today told em I was approved for the trial stimulator . I am going to teh new surgoen friday. i reacted so badly to the epidural injection I am really scared of anything they do.
I just need to regain my ablity to walk on my right leg if I put it on teh ground it is like a knife is stabbing me. With 3 kids I cannot go on like this.
Also got very sick for neurtin and lidocaine patches,
 
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bj1208 replied to kme385608's response:
hi kme385608 - not sure if we have spoke before - so welcome to the support group -

let me give you some suggestions - wait til you see the surgeon on Friday - ask if possibly a leg brace and cane would benefit you before trying the trial stimulator - and possibly the surgeon may have some other options for treatments -

let us know what happens - take care - Joy~~


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I also have had surgery for L5S1,protruding disc for sciatic pain. Everything was fine for a year. Then the pain came back and the doctor ... More
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