Skip to content
RFA Recovery?
MayzieBug posted:
Hi everyone! I am new to this site, and I am posting to get some feedback on how the recovery process went for those who have had this procedure. My husband had RFA about twenty weeks ago, and he is in more pain now than prior to the treatment. The doctor advised that it can take 16-20 weeks to feel relief. Since we are on the high end of that, I wanted to see if anyone else experienced the "it gets worse before it gets better" thing. Not having back pain myself, I am trying to wrap my head around what to expect. More importantly, I would also like to know what I can do to help him. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
davedsel responded:

My wonderful wife had RFA (I presume you do mean radio frequency ablation) aka rhizotomy in December 2012 on one side and then the other side in February 2013. This was for a lower back work-related injury. It has helped reduce her pain levels but she is now feeling the same level of pain again.

Everyone is unique and responds differently to any type of treatment. You can try to understand and support your husband as best as possible. Chronic pain, especially back pain, affects every aspect of our lives and does touch our family members. It is physical, emotional and spiritual.

Your husband may need to get the opinions of other spine specialists such as spinal orthopedic surgeons and/or spinal neurosurgeons. He should also be seeing a pain management specialist that is a physiatrist who deals with many different treatments.

I pray you both find answers and relief soon.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


trs1960 responded:
I've had it 4-5 times. Each time I had it the results were immediate and recovery was hours... sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear

Good luck

bj1208 responded:
HI MayzieBug - welcome to the support group -

I had this done 2 times (been several yrs ago) and the only relief I had was from the numbing agent used. My nerve endings were so damaged (doc didn't know how bad they were) so I didn't have any relief from the treatment.

I would do some research on the internet - google: Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation and read all about it - there should be several returns - try to read ones from hospitals or spine institutes. I would also google: Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation side effects and also recovery times - this should give you something good to read.

I've never heard that they can take this long to feel relief but do know that nerve roots can repair themselves whereas the pains will be worse.

Hope this helps - let us know how ur husband is doing~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
trs1960 replied to trs1960's response:
And 3/5 of the treatments didn't do anything

Helpful Tips

Making the Most of Your Doctor Visit #2Expert
Here are the rest of the suggestions (had to break into to two parts due to the character limits) 5. Make sure that all records ... More
Was this Helpful?
35 of 50 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center