RFA and scared!!

Hi all!

I went for my first ever Medial Branch Block on Wednesday and although I was terrified, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  My doctor gave me Valium an hour before and then also a second one as we were starting. We have now scheduled the RFA for later this month and apparently, we’re just doing the Valium again. I’ve read a lot on here and other places where people are knocked out for this and my doctor doesn’t do that. I’m scared at how much more painful this will be than the MBB. I’m also scared of the post-procedure pain as I am on no pain meds and highly doubt I’ll be sent home with anything. Please help calm my nerves!!



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,554
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM

    hello tnintn!
    welcome to spine health
    all new members should take the system tutorial

    no matter who you talk to, your doctor has a certain way of doing things. try talking to him about how nervous your are and asking for something to take at home for pain. my pm doctor's procedures are the same, valium and nothing for pain. not everyone has post pain, everyone is different. just stay positive and get through it and hopefully it will really help.
    keep us posted.

  • Thanks everyone!  I guess I should have mentioned that they are doing the RFA in my lumbar spine. 

    I know at my very first appointment, my doctor said something about how if I wanted to, he could start an IV in case he needed to give me more relaxation meds. I’ll just remind him when they call to go over the procedure. He may think I’m a baby, but I really don’t care, lol!!

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  • TN

      I had rfa 4 months ago. I was given 3 valium.  Took 1 a hours and a half before..1 hour before and the 3rd 30 mins before. Mine was done on s1-4. I found it no more painful then the si joint injection I had recieved a month or so earlier.  But it really help in a major way. Yes I still have pain but not the intense nerve type it was miserable.  I do still have one area that bothers me that runs under my butt but the rest is at such a low level it was well worth it. I've already told my PM I'm game for it again but must wait a full 6 months for Medicare to pay.

      The best of luck to you and I hope all goes well...

  • I had my RFA this morning and it wasn’t too bad. I am now having a low-grade fever and some nausea and vomiting. Wondering if this could be related or if it’s something else... miserable abdominal pain. 

  • Hello all. I'm having this procedure on Monday and I'm scared as hell. I don't get any sedation. This has never been talked about and I'm not well informed. Since I have panic disorder as well because of the chronic pain I'm scared. I've had sciatica for 3 years now. And recently my other leg has started hurting too. I have no idea what to expect from this procedure. The anesthesiologist acted like it's nothing, just the same as a steroid injection. No worries. But I'm not so sure. I've had the steroid injection. I felt excruciating pain when they numbed me. Lasted about 30 secs. So that was okay. But no idea with this RFP

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  • charryccharry Posts: 220
    edited 07/29/2020 - 9:22 PM

    I have IV sedation but you’re not knocked out as you have to be able to tell them if you have any pain in your leg or foot during the procedure is what my Dr. told me. Also live X-ray is done for me as well.

    When they inject the steroids and RFA it recreates the nerve pain so it’s not without pain. I cringe and scream during this so they jack me up with more IV meds. I just had it done a few weeks ago and have it every year the past 8 years. I Could not live without this great pain relief procedure. 

    I used to go to Drs who did injections without X-ray never again. 

    Just my experience and of course not without risk as they make you sign consent form. 

    I always tell the Dr if any new symptoms especially other leg involved have to get MRI again for me. Charry

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,554


    For more information on a RFA, go to the search box at the top right of the page and key in RFA. Scroll down past the ads and there are several articles. Hope this helps.


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