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Facet Rhyzotomy for pain control
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Jenrick posted:
I had the left side done almost 3 weeks ago and the right side done about 2 weeks ago. After the first one the excruciating pain subsided after about 24 hours, then returned a few days later and I haven't had relief since. They gave me Vicodin which didn't do much. I am now taking Percocet, Flexeril, and Zanaflex and still would rate my pain at about an 8/10.

So I guess my question is how long does it last until I start feeling some relief. This pain is worse than it was before the procedure. The only relief I get is when sitting or laying down. Now I dont think my job would appreciate me doing either of these. My PCP started me on a Medrol Taper to see if that helps (on day 1 now).

This is just awfully painful. Any suggestions, comments, feedback is appreciated!
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cweinbl responded:
Sorry to hear about your pain. Actually, the long-term (12 months) success rate for a rhyzotomy (a.k.a. radio frequency ablation) is around 60% (lower if you've had spine surgery). I know... no one tells you these things. You have to do your own research. So, here it is: http://www.painphysicianjournal.com/2009/july/2009;12;699-802.pdf . This is most comprehensive research on all types of spinal interventions that I've seen. Sadly, having your Facet nerve roots destroyed has a poor outcome. BTW, I had one about 14 years ago and I will attenst that they are EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL. I tend to tolerate pain pretty well. But my wife could hear me screaming through four closed doors in a waiting room at least fifty yards away. You see, in order to be certain that they are frying the correct nerve root, very little anesthesia is used. The doctor must ask at various times, "What do you feel now?"

The morbidity here is quite low. Sometimes the physician will nick or impinge the nerve, leaving it part alive and part dead. Occasionally they will destroy the wrong nerve.

Frankly, I'll take the pills and patches rather than try this again. Good luck.


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