Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Options following Radiofrequency Neurotomy for Cervical Pain
    An_250701 posted:
    Hi, first time poster. This week (2 days ago) I had RFN. We did a large area, bi-lateral/both sides, and multiple facet joints. For those who have had the procedure, did you combine it with other treatments for cervical neck pain simultaneously to get more benefit? If it did work for you, how long was your relief? If it did not work, what else did you try that helped?

    A quick history. I am a former athlete, otherwise healthy with no problems. I first injured this area (neck) in high school, but symptoms became most persistent and chronic during college. My new goal, became function and running my life. For me, this meant common symptoms: range of motion, fighting spasms, guarding, pain.

    I stretch everyday and do light weights. I still strive to be as active as possible. I run 4-5x per week, and some weeks, I will do low-impact and the bike instead. I am 28 years old, but like most on these message boards (as I begin to read them) I feel much older than this. This has been the daily routine of the last 8-10 years.

    I need new ideas. I have not researched new ideas, in a while. I would love to hear what has worked for you for cervical pain. Very few people in my life (other than the closest people) know about this aspect of my life. But, it effects every single day. I build my days around it. Some days, it's a wonder you get out of bed. Let alone even think about long runs/biking/living fully. I'd like my 30's to be different.

    I have tried different treatments, but nothing new in recent years. I have tried physical therapy, e-stim, medical massage, accupuncture, ultrasound, Botox injections (3x), radio frequency ablation/neurotomy (2x), trigger point injections (bi-weekly), traction/inversion, biofeedback, pain patches, NSAIDs, muscle relaxers, everything except narcotics. I don't smoke, I don't drink. But, I gotta try something new. Pain pumps? Stimulator? I'm finally open to trying narcotics for the first time. Any good resources like magazines or journals to subscribe to that have helped you? So far, I am finding these boards helpful.
    suz1catz responded:
    I had a cervical fusion done in 2011 corpectomy of c-6.My fusion was done because I had damaged disc from a auto accident. I tried the narcotics I found that these pills masked the brain and did nothing for the pain. I'm on 50 mg of tramadol which I take twice a day. Yes It is very helpful with pain. I also do every day is the neck exercise I was taught in PT.I've recently had a epidoral shot in my neck which helped me with my headaches and my numbness/pain in my arms,shoulders and hands.Have you gone to a surgeon for a cervical fusion? Pushing your exercise could be do more harm to your neck.I hope you find this helpful.
    charlie84vermont replied to suz1catz's response:
    Hi, Suz1catz,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I made a note to ask at my follow up about disk fusion. So far, we have opted for non-invasive options. But, if the RFN does not have any benefit, I know I need to ask again. We did talk about it very briefly last time, just in the context of waiting to have the discussion until we can see the benefit of RFN. That seemed reasonable. I am ready to try anything, though.

    I don't see this lifestyle as sustainable in the future. It only works now, because I am young enough not to have a family to care for yet. You can give your best to school, or work, then spend the remainder of that day on your back, or doing your rehab exercises, or whatever has to go into that day to get to the next one, and do it again. But eventually, I want to have a life, and a family, and I know I need to lick this now.

    I definitely appreciate the stories, perspective, and links or info on procedures others want to share. Thanks!
    dfromspencer replied to charlie84vermont's response:
    I have suffered with neck pain for many, many years. The damage has been done, nerve damage. I've had two fusion surgeries done, the last one at the end of last year, Happy New Years, to me. It has helped with the neck pain, a little anyway. Now I have, and use a tens-unit. It works amazingly well! After a few minutes, the burning pain will dissipate. Does not last long, but for a short time, RELIEF!!!

    I have been on opiate pain relief for a long time, also. I started with Methadone E.R., and Oxycodone for I.R.. Now, I am on Morphine E.R. 100mg, seven per day, and still on Oxycodone 5mg for breakthrough pain. It does little for the burning pain. But it is a hugh relief for the rest of the pain! Check into it with your Dr., he will probably start you at a very low dose?

    I had these surgeries as a last resort, as nothing else would stop the pain. If it comes to that, for you, I would say YES, go for it!!!

    I wish you all the pain relief you can find!!!

    suz1catz replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Hi I had a cervical fusion in 2011.I had frontal fusion which is the worse to get surgicaly speaken. Now they do cervical fusion on the side of your neck whch is better. I to have have nerve damage from my fusion,vocal cord damage,swollening problems the muscles of my esphogus are weak, burning sharp pain in my neck goes to my shoulders arms and hands. Numbness in my arms and hands.Which has caused me to fall serveral times.I've had a headache since my surgery that never goes away. I have shots in my neck,tens unit and take 50mg of trama-dol When I go to my surgoen he says to me I don't deal with your issues I just do surgery.I'm grateful for my pain management doctor.We have to live a comfortable life. If anybody has any questions I would like to help Be well everyone and God Bless..
    dfromspencer replied to suz1catz's response:
    Hi, Suz1Cats

    Yep, both of mine were through the front/side of the neck. This last one was for three vertabrates, and it still hurts in my back. I never thought a fusion for your neck would make your back hurt? My surgeon tells me, they had to replace the disks with cadaver bones, and in doing so, they have elongated my spine. Supposedly, to raise me back to normal height? Wow, I wish they would have told me that befor the surgery. LOL!

    I am sorry to hear about your pain! I know exactly what you're going through! I too, have fallen several times. My P.C.P. finally gave me a cane to walk with, and it helps tremendously! I wish someone would come through for me, and tell me if, and when I can go to therapy? I had this surgery on the 31st. of Dec. last year. I feel pretty good now, so, bring on the P.T.!!!

    I agree, the surgeon has nothing to do with my pain management. The only thing I got from them was one script for Percoset. I never had it filled, because I already have the oxycodone, which is the same as Percoset. My P.M. doctor manages my pain as well as can be, I guess? There really isn't much that can be done for our type of pain. Once the nerves get that badly damaged, there is little one can do for that burning sensation.

    I hope things work out for you! I hate to see anyone suffer this type of pain! Maybe some day, they will find a way to reconnect the damaged nerves, so they can heal, and stop burning so bad? Oh, wishful thinking!!!

    Good luck, take care, I wish you all the best!!!

    ctbeth replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Hi Dennis,

    I have a three-level cervical fusion- same thing, cadaver bone, et al.

    Mine was also anterior approach: the incision looks like a trach and is directly mid-line.

    Related to your last statement re:a way to correct the damage- Stem Cells.

    Best wishes.
    TDXSP08 responded:
    Chronologically my health and therefore my career went south when i hit thirty i am now 44 but many days i feel more like 144 just getting out of bed into my wheelchair. Pre 30 i was the guy who worked extra duty shifts so the guys with families could be off with their families did not bother me at all to pull 96 hour weeks and now i have nothing to show for it just a beat up worn out dying body that used to save lives,who now could mot even save himself!>

    i have no small step for man, but i have 6 tires for mankind,Watch your Toes!
    ctbeth replied to TDXSP08's response:
    Andre', my friend,

    Think of all the lives that you've saved- all the children who would be orphans, and all the parents who would have had the horror of burying their children.

    Your life is sacred and precious.

    You have much to teach others who are beginning on the path you've walked and wheeled these past fourteen years.

    Don't give up yet , okay?

    You have inspired many how to live and carry a cross with dignity. Your last gift may be your example of how to die with dignity.

    I think that you should write your life story. You have had an unusual and incredible life so far.

    It ain't over until it's over, so get busy living.

    I'm pretty good with the written word and would be honoured to assist with your book, if you'd like to consider it.

    You have quite a story to tell-
    charlie84vermont replied to ctbeth's response:

    Thanks for responding. Did you have any adverse reactions to your fusion as well? Some of these stories sound troubling.

    I have heard really mixed thing, as far as it creating more problems than it solves. How did you feel after the stem cells?
    ctbeth replied to charlie84vermont's response:
    Hi Charlie,

    Did you, in VT, get hit by this last blizzard? It's amazing here in CT. We didn't get as much as anticipated- about sixteen inches. It's really heavy snow, though, and very pretty.

    I have both lumbar and cervical fusions. I think this thread is related to cervical spine fusion.

    First, please consider that this is a pain management community. If anyone had a fusion surgery and did well with no further problems, he/ she would probably not be posting on this community.

    So, we are a skewed statistic. Do keep take this into consideration.

    Actually, I did just fine recovering from my cervical fusion. I went home one-day post-op. I did have my BFF helping and the first week or so I wanted to sleep a lot.

    After that, my recovery was somewhat un-remarkable.

    It is a three-level with cadaver donor bone and all the regular hardware.

    It was far easier and the recovery much less troublesome than the lumbar fusion.

    I have not had stem cell treatment, I just wish...

    Again, if you really want a good survey of people who've had c-spine fusion, please look beyond a pain management community. Many do very well.

    Enjoy the snow <3


    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

    Helpful Tips

    neck/skull pain
    I have exactly the same pain problem from the sound of it. Does it feel like a hot slicing pain in the neck and an irritated nerve running ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 2 found this helpful

    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.