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Radio Frequency Ablation
lexalayne1 posted:
I've been receiving this treatment since'07 at the Cleveland Clinic, with needles inserted on both sides of my neck (5 each side, 2 separate procedures). It's purpose is to "burn" nerve endings in the neck and stop pain signals, as I understand it. For me it lasts a bit longer than a year and has been a God send. 10 years prior treatment with pain killers led to hell on earth.

The procedure is outpatient, fairly quick, somewhat painful, but only because you need to confirm when they've hit a nerve. Once the needles are in place they send electric current through the nerves, which for me blocks pain signals.

It has alleviated chronic neck pain and also most of my joint pain. Dr. Cheng gave me hope when I thought there was none.

Unfortunately, only 1 side has been done this year.....seems there's a problem between my insurance company and the Cleveland Clinic or the office staff won't confirm receiving TWO letters authorizing a procedure they've done for 5 years now. That is Until my agent did a conference call and MADE her confirm receiving the fax. Maybe has something to do with the fact that while I pay for my own health insurance I have a high family deductible plus high personal deductible and also qualify for assistance. The 1st procedure this year took 4 months to authorize (usually 2 weeks) and according to the insurance company they haven't bothered to send authorization for the other side. And yes I'm on the same expensive plan only to keep having this done.

Teaching hospital that also files under charitable. Really, tired of the stupidity of the current staff member who keeps pleading IGNORANCE.

But as far as the procedure and my Dr it's done wonders for me. And if anyone knows how to cut through all this red tape please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

bpcookie responded:
I had a Pudendal nerve RFA done a few weeks ago. I am patiently waiting to see if it worked or not. They told me it would probably take a month for me to feel any better.

When you have had your RFA's done, how long does it take for you to feel any relief?

Also, about the problem your having with the clinic. I had the SAME problem. I had to call them over and over again and eventually I did a three way call with them and my health ins.

Take care.
lexalayne1 replied to bpcookie's response:
Relief was practically immediate. A day on the couch afterwards, then ready to go. IDK what kind your's is, sounds a bit different than the one I had. Hope it helps you though.
cweinbl responded:
After my rhyzotomy (radio-frequency ablation) I have had a significant PERMANENT INCREASE in my referent leg pain. The procedure has about a 60% success rate, according to the latest and best comprehensive research on all spinal interventions:;12;699-802.pdf .

I'm not here to say that it won't work, just be cause mine failed. I'm here to say that it fails almost half the time, that it's a painful procedure and that when you kill a nerve root - it's forever.

This is not a decision to be taken lightly. And never accept your doctor's success rate, do your own research on success rates and why the procedure sometimes has undesirable consequences. Nothing is more important than your health. Do not take chances with an elective invasive procedure without doing your own research on the success rate. You can do this kind of research easily from the privacy of your own computer.

Featuring Experts

Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

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