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Anyone had a cervical rfa or nerve ablation?

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tired girl posted 4/25/2014 00:54 AM

They are recommending this for me and I have serious doubts about doing it. Interested to hear if anyone has had this done.

woundedwidow posted 4/25/2014 08:55 AM

I had a discussion with a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital after I had been recommended one for cervical c-spine stenosis. I decided against it after the doctor said that sometimes it has to be done more than once - no way for me, more for logistical reasons than medical ones, although those were significant as well.

worried_lady posted 4/25/2014 10:29 AM

I have had the nerve ablation done but not in the cervical area but the thoracic area. It is a God send for me. I have it done about 2 times a year. The nerves regenerate and it has to be done again but the relief I get is so worth it. It is painful and then I am very sore for about 4 days after but it makes such a difference for me and the quality of life. I have been doing this for 3 years. It truly gives me my life back. PM me if you have any questions.

tired girl posted 4/25/2014 11:14 AM

That is what I have read about, that the relief I can expect is about 6 months, and I think I am mostly worried about the pain that I read a lot of people are in after it is done. I have read about a lot of muscle spasming and burning sensations that don't go away for sometimes three months. I don't want to do it if it adds to my current pain level. But if it can relieve what is happening then I am willing to try it.

worried_lady posted 4/25/2014 11:24 AM

I am very sore for about 4 days and then life begins for me. Makes a huge difference in having any kind of life. The problem with them doing mine in the thoracic area is possible problems with breathing and they always say to go straight to the ER if that happens. I have never had a problems other than the pain for those about 4 days and it makes such a difference in my life. So if I have to do it every 6 month so be it.

ETA, I had it done a week ago Wednesday and went out of town last Friday. So it is not pain that I can't handle. Certainly not the kind of pain I am in before I have it done.

[This message edited by worried_lady at 11:26 AM, April 25th (Friday)]

tired girl posted 4/25/2014 11:41 AM

Thank you for this info. I am going to get a second opinion from the neurologist that has treated me and see what he says. Did they give you any kind of sedation while they did the procedure?

worried_lady posted 4/25/2014 11:58 AM

Yes, they do give some sedation during the procedure. It takes me about an hour to be functioning again when they do it. I will tell you that even with sedation when they hit the nerves it does hurt and I remember it so I am not totally out. I don't mind it any more because if I sort of feel it when they do it means they are hitting the nerves that need it. It is really just a very short time compared to the amount of relief I get.

tired girl posted 4/25/2014 12:06 PM

Ya, the place that wanted to do it on me gives no sedation. They told me to just take a valium or two before I came in so I wouldn't be so nervous. I think I am going to look for a different place to do it.

worried_lady posted 4/25/2014 12:10 PM

The place I go to gives me an IV but not any fluid and they just give a shot into it right before they do the procedure. They leave the IV in until I am ready to leave. I think more for safety precautions in case they needed it. I would want a little sedation for it. I don't remember the procedure per say but just remember the certain times that they actually hit the nerve. Look at another facility. I have mine done at a pain management doctors office.

tired girl posted 4/25/2014 12:24 PM

This is a pain management place, but they don't do any IV meds for the procedure. I think I will look for somewhere else. When they did the test procedure to see if this would help me, he hit a nerve and that about killed me. The test procedure did relieve a lot of my pain, but I believe I have another damaged nerve they are not dealing with. That is why I am getting a second opinion. Thank you for all of your help. These procedures are scary when you don't know if they will help or not.

millienotboo posted 4/25/2014 23:28 PM

Oh wow, I've had some procedures without sedation and it's unreal pain, find a diff doc. I've had 2 cervical rf ablations. I was sore on the "apron" of my back for a day or two but my pain is GONE afterwards. The first one took about 18 months to rejuvenate and the second one is only now beginning to give me some problems after two full years. After 15 years of chronic pain, 13 epidurals, discectomy and fusion surgery, and SIX rounds of PT, the ablations are the most successful of all treatments that I've had. I'd recommend them if you are a candidate. When they did the nerve block for testing did you have complete relief for the time that they did it till the numbness wore off? If you did then they have the correct nerve. It's really imperative that you have a good pm doc and a good surgery center.
Good luck and feel free to pm if you have questions.

solus sto posted 4/25/2014 23:37 PM

I have had cooled RFA on my SI joint and it's fabulous. I did require more than one tx; the area is large and improvement was incremental. My neck is next.

Be sure you have the best doctor you can find. My doc's done so much with this body that I knew his skill level and trust him implicitly. (This says a lot: I am a former ortho/neuro RN and don't generally adore interventionalists, particularly if they're intervening on my body parts. This guy? A master.)

The procedure was life changing for me. Let me know if you have questions.

eta: for me, relief is immediate. There is minor site pain, some deep burny sensation, but it is minor compared to the relief otherwise attained.

My pain doc is an anesthesiologist and uses conscious sedation. I am aware of what is going on and feel some discomfort, but really, it's not bad--certainly not more than, say, an intra-articular or epidural injection.

If your doctor will not medicate/sedate/anesthetize, find another. Heck, come stay with me and I'll take you to mine.

[This message edited by solus sto at 11:57 PM, April 25th (Friday)]

tired girl posted 4/26/2014 01:27 AM

Thank you for the replies, this gives me some hope. I will find someone different for sure. Thank you guys, this helps

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