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Radio Frequency Ablation--has anyone had it done?
bette_kaffitz posted:
Hello, and Help,

My pain doctor has suggested that I have radio frequency ablation done at the lumbar spine and possibly the cervical spine. It is set up very much like nerve blocks except that instead of a needle, the doctor inserts a dual-pronged, tiny electrical device. He isolates the nerves that are only sending pain signals then destroys them with high frequency (fast moving) radio waves. It should last until the nerves grow back, anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

Supposedly, this is a low-risk procedure with few drawbacks.

Has anyone out there had this done, or do you know someone who had it done?


jillwimmersbloom responded:
I have not had one done but I would be interested in hearing experiences from people who have.
rosielou responded:
If you go over to the Back Pain Community, they have a lot of people with experience with that procedure.

booch007 responded:
Good morning Bette,

I can speak of the RFA we do on hearts......

When they are done (and done so often) the only risk is surrounding tissue can be damaged. We get esophogeal problems and a bit more heart block then thought at times.

So the surrounding fibers in that area may get in trouble. Can you speak to patients who have had it? That is always a good testament. My Urologist uses that to help people make decisions. He gets permission frst from them on the phone and then hands the phone over to talk to the patient.

Every thing we do is a leap of faith and also no matter how educated and well is expertise that wins out.

Good luck with your decision and if you go for it, let us know how it was for OUR futures. Sharing is what this board is all about.

Hugs, Nancy B
chermoli10 responded:
I have pain in my legs and tailbone that is just too much for me to handle so I had RF done twice and it works wonders for me. The first time I had it done, it lasted for 4 years, with no side effects at all. The second time, though, my doctor had made me go through two other procedures first and by the time I got the RF, I had knots in my muscles where the needles go in (in my butt) and the RF made them way worse. It took 5 months for the spasms to get to a tolerable state. I would make sure that your doctor does this procedure a lot before I'd do it, but besides that, it's a fabulous way to kill the pain, at least for a while. I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has about the RF procedure. -Liz
bette_kaffitz replied to chermoli10's response:

Thank you so much for the info. My pain doctor has been doing nerve blocks in the my lumbar area for 15 years. I think the procedures are very similar except for the substitution of the electrical apparatus for a needle.

I need the nerve blocks every 3 months. Even 1 year would be a godsend. I'm having a trial ablation done on Nov. 7, and we'll go on from there.

Again, thank you so very much for the first hand report. It helps to "talk" with someone who's been there.

If you decide on the stimulator. Can your normal pain doctor put it in? Mine will be able to do this starting in Jan. when there is a second one to assist him at the pain clinic. No, I won't be one of his first guinea pigs. But if the rf ablation does not work, I might try it again in a year or two.


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