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Introduction and Radiofrequency Procedure

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone

I have read here on and off for the last two years, but now that I am scheduled for radiofrequency neurotomy, I am just panicked enough to post and beg for feedback. My back problems started about 8 years ago after my son was born. Every few months I'd get so "crooked" that I'd be bedridden for a couple days to a week with each occurance. For several years, I went to the chiropracter for adjustments and the doctor for muscle relaxers and pain meds. Then in 06, I sneezed and blew out two of my discs completely. I had steriod injections and physical therapy and three months later felt better. Then in Feb 07, my back pain became chronic with no injury or significant event. I just started to have pain that radiated down my right leg. Two years later at the age of 33, I've had no less than 10 steriod injections, almost a full year of physical therapy, traction, and pain meds. I've tried it all.

My current doctor says I am not a candidate for surgery since I have problems at three levels. My disc problems are at the lowest 3 levels (L3-L5). The discs are degenerative, herniated, and leaking fluid. For well over a year, my doctor said no surgery. Now she says I need to try more invasive procedures, starting with radiofrequency at all three levels on both sides. If that doesn't work, she wants to me to have a discogram and possibly surgery (even though she said I couldn't have surgery over and over. Yes, I have problems with her.)

As for meds, I take tramadal and nambuten (NSAID) during the day, and I take 3 percocets and one to two muscle relaxers at night. I've tried slow release morphine, tramadal, and percocet, but anything slow release screws up my digestion badly.

Anyway, long story short, has anyone out there had radiofrequency? If so, any advice or tips would be hugely appreciated. Also, has anyone had fusion done at three levels? Or has anyone had artificial discs put in at three levels?

This is my favorite place to come and read whenever I get depressed and anxious, so thank you all who post and respond in support.


  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. it is so great that you decided to post and let us get to know you. =D> i can't have surgery either and live on conservative treatments to keep the pain as level as possible. i know someone will drop by to answer your questions. :-C i just wanted to say hello. good luck with your next treatment. i really hope it works for you!!! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to SH. I can tell just from your description of being crooked that you have issues with your facet joints. The rhizotomy (nerve burn, same as radiofrequency) has worked wonders for me. I was having it done 1x a year as the nerves will regenerate at some point some people it lasts longer. I did this for 3 years with miraculois results. Last year my doc said let's do a discogram and possibly microD as he was sure that a disc was involved and thought that maybe he could do a microdiscectomy and stop the need for the yearly rhizotomy. Sure enough, the discogram revealed an annular tare. I had a radical discectomy Last December and would give anything to be able to take it back. My pain has worsened and the rhizotomys do not work as well as they did. Please do try the RF procedure but please really think about surgery. especially at 3 levels. If it were to worsen the pain, you will not be able to undo a fusion. My doc has told me that he would never suggest ADR as they are still in the beginning phases and have a long way to go to be perfected. Good luck and please keep us posted.
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