Racz Procedure

I did a google search and found this forum - I found it with a title someone had once posted in this folder asking if anyone had ever had the Racz procedure...however, I cannot find that topic and the link is dead from google.

That being said....

I had an L5-S1 discectomy due to a herniated disc about 3 years ago.  

The surgery took away all my pain, however, about 6 weeks post-op, the pain came back to my butt and leg (sciatic).  I went in to a physical therapist, did some exercises, and the pain went away.  The pain returned about 6 months post-op.  I went back to the physical therapist, and despite more sessions than previously done and new exercises, the pain remained. 

I went in and did the 3-shot series of epidurals.  I would say the pain went from a 7 to a 3 after the first epidural and remained there.  The 2nd and 3rd shots being ineffective.

However, the pain relief from the first shot seemed to have been somewhat permanent.  Unless there is a flare-up where my back locks up and spasms, the pain is typically at about a 3 or less.  But I have this constant.......tingling.....or discomfort in my left glute and hamstring.  This causes me to constantly shift or lean away from it, which does havoc on the rest of the body.

I have tried the RFA....despite the pain mgmt doctor telling me that RFA doesn't help with pain going down the leg.  That seems to help if we hit it in the right spot during the treatment.  I don't know...I guess my wires are crossed?

An MRI a year after surgery showed, according to the surgeon, an abnormal amount of scar tissue for someone just a year later.

All of that being said,

it seems scar tissue is the main problem in my body now that is affecting the nerve.  I have done the epidurals, RFA, stretching, PT, exercise, anti-inflammatory meds, tramadol, lyrica, etc....the epidural helps, and usually has me pain free for about 1-2 weeks, so I go and get one before vacation or traveling, but haven't found anything that helps long-term

And then I came across this article that describes the RACZ procedure and its affect on scar tissue.

Has anyone had this procedure done?  I read that people respond well to the epidural, but not as long as they would like or as well as they would like, respond very well to the Racz.  I'm going to give it a go.  Looking for feedback. 



  • Welcome DeV45 we’re glad you’re here!

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Also, you should take a look at the Sciatica Health Center on Spine-health. It has a number of informative articles and videos about common causes and treatment options for sciatica; from first aid tips to stretches you can perform to relieve painful sciatica symptoms. It’s a very helpful resource for those with sciatica.

    I have never had this procedure, if you will go to the search box at the top right of your screen and type in racz, and scroll past the ads there is some information on the procedure.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Hi, I haven't had the RACZ procedure yet but my pain management Dr has suggested it and I'm waiting on approval from my workcover insurer.

    I had a Microdiscectomy at l5s1 a year ago and another Microdiscectomy at l4l5 7 months ago and have had ongoing leg and back pain since then of varying intensity. I had an ESI about 2 months ago but the PM Dr couldn't inject at l5 where he wanted to due to the scar tissue and had to go in at S1 and it didn't seem to help at all so he wants to try the RACZ for the scar tissue. He told me it's a procedure he likes to try because if it works it can sometimes give the patient complete relief and not just mask the symptoms. 

    My physio doesn't think it will help me much as I never got much relief after each surgery so he doesn't think the scar tissue is the pain generator. Which makes sense to me. 

    I am getting a second opinion from a new neurosurgeon in a couple of weeks to see what other options I have at this point.

    It sounds like in the right circumstances the RACZ procedure would be really effective.

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  • DeV45DDeV45 Posts: 5
    edited 10/20/2019 - 12:07 AM

    I had the RACZ procedure performed yesterday.   I was able to lay on the floor with my butt flush against the wall and stretch my leg... whereas before it was difficult to straighten the leg with my butt being about a foot away...

    Important to note that all my pain is believed to stem from scar tissue

    Still sore at the injection site...

    Everything I've read says that the medication doesn't truly go to work for 48 hours... so if it keeps getting better,  I'm all for it

  • 72 hours later and I feel pretty good....

    Just as the epidural shots are usually given in a series, I scheduled a follow-up visit this week and intend to try and schedule a 2nd RACZ next week to really hammer the scar tissue....while I have gained some mobility and lesser degree of pain, I still feel a slight tingle in the butt and hamstring...I need to talk to him if another shot would be beneficial, or if perhaps the nerve now needs time to settle down....

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