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Just returned from SI joint nerve ablation

LaCansadaLLaCansada Posts: 35
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
Hi all, I just returned from a trip to a major medical center to have the radio-frequency denervation ("nerve ablation") done on my right SI joint. This was the third time for me since 2007 on my right SI joint. Today I feel great thanks to the use of cortisone during the process. I will know my true results in about 3-4 weeks. This has helped me greatly in the past for at least a year at a time. The problem is, they can't keep doing this for forever. In fact, this might be my last time. I'm not sure and was too afraid to even ask. I spoke with them about the possibility of using a spinal cord stimulator and they said this was not used for SI pain as it does not cover that particular type of joint/inflammatory pain.

But for now I am doing well. I am finally rid of that throbbing, aching and pulling sensation on my right side that I have had on a constant basis (again) since March of this year. I am still woosey-headed from all the meds they used during the procedure but I am planning to return to work on Monday. I still have intermittent pain in the left SI and bursitis in both hips. I return in July and will likely have injections in the hips for bursitis. I decided to post on my recovery from this in case others are considering the radio-frequency intervention. I do highly recommend it but only at a place where they do a lot of them and are well-trained.

Best wishes to all.

Lisa.
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1

Comments

  • A little more than one week out from right SI Rhizotomy (radio-frequency nerve ablation). Did not take it easy enough initially (went for a walk the day after the procedure)and had some not fun pain. I am now icing 2x a day and laying off heavy activities like exercise but I do have to walk around quite a bit at work and this seems fine. The deep, horrible pain that used to grip me in waves is predictably gone. This procedure works well for that. Now I have low-to-moderate aching. Taking Motrin and sometimes 5 mg of Percocet. I have my fingers crossed that my vacation to Maui in 3 weeks will be pain-reduced. I can tell that I still have some swelling on the right side. If this does not work in the end, I feel my options have about run out. Best wishes to all. Lisa.
  • So happy to hear you have some pain reduction and it will continue and last a long time. I have never had much luck with them, I have had 4 but we are all different and I hope you get relief and can enjoy Maui. Just think of how good floating in the salt water weightless will feel. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

    Jani

    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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  • I have had great luck with rhizotomies, especially for my SI joint pain.

    I just started on Enbrel a month ago (for a type of spondyloarthritis), and the one thing I have noticed a big difference with is my SI pain. I am SO familiar with that deep, deep pain you talked about, and when it's gone, you can finally breathe again!!

    As for how many rhizotomies/RFAs you can have, my surgeon said there was no limit for a lifetime; not sure how other surgeons look at that, though, especially with the steroid injections at the same time (I also have the injections done).

    Hope things have settled down for you again.

    Tracy
  • Hi Tracy. Funny you should mention arthritis and the SI pain. I am seeing a rheumatologist on Aug 9 to rule out any type of inflammatory arthritis. I think that RA may have been ruled out already, however, I have been reading that there are several types of inflammatory arthritis that, in particular, affect the SI joint. So I am anxious to discuss this possibility and figure out why, for heaven's sake, I cannot get rid of this SI joint pain. I have also started having pain in other joints as well. What type of arthritis have you been diagnosed with and how did they make the determination that you had it? Thanks for any info.

    Lisa
  • Glad it has worked for you, and thanks for posting! I'm going to have my SI joints done as well, but have to wait for a while as I might end up going back for another cervical surgery soon. I've had the normal injections done on them, and they helped so much, I can't wait to get the RFA done. Hope it lasts a long time for you!
    Kelly
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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  • I was diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis about 6 years ago...this affects the SI joints, as well as other parts of the spine...it can also affect your eyes...unfortunately there is no cure for it. My dr had but me on NSAIDS, and muscle relaxers, but after about a year, I stopped taking the meds...my theory was that the meds have more side effects and can cause just as many issues and they really didnt help the flair ups all that much...but u may want to research that a little and look at the symptoms...then talk to ur Dr...just a suggestion
  • I was diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis about 6 years ago...this affects the SI joints, as well as other parts of the spine...it can also affect your eyes...unfortunately there is no cure for it. My dr had but me on NSAIDS, and muscle relaxers, but after about a year, I stopped taking the meds...my theory was that the meds have more side effects and can cause just as many issues and they really didnt help the flair ups all that much...but u may want to research that a little and look at the symptoms...then talk to ur Dr...just a suggestion
  • I have been diagnosed with "some kind" of spondyloarthritis; I have symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, but am HLA B27 negative. It took a rheumatologist (who is also a professor at the university AND a research doc) two full days of poking, prodding, checking every joint, measuring every movement, etc., to come up with this. Unfortunately I had to "fire" her, as I couldn't get her to communicate with my GP at home, which is no good.

    Good luck with your rheumatologist, and hopefully he/she is thorough. I would suggest doing a really good history of your issues, especially info on where the pain is now. I keep an ongoing history, which has been very helpful for some of the specialists I've seen.

    Tracy
  • Hi All,

    Sounds like we are in the same boat, I had a car accident in Jan 2014. Where a car hit the rear of me at approx 40mph. Obviously caused a lot of damage, but also gave me some pretty serious injuries. 2 years later and my pain has been narrowed down to SI joints. I had the injections in November which worked but for a very short time, 2 weeks. Looks like I'm now going to need a second injection to my right side. I can't see the result being any different, but surgeon say's it has to be done. Next step after this is Nerve Burn or the 3 Pins. I'm pretty nervous about both procedures if I'm honest as the SI Joint injection was very painful and for the whole 10mins hurt like mad. I felt the needle the whole time and could feel all the movements. Is the nerve burn the same kind of injection as before? I know the pins is a lot more involved and really hope I don't end up having that, they will have to knock me out for that I think.
    Regards Mark.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,268
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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