Lumbar radiofrequency nuerotomy procedure this wednesday

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/6/2010 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone,
 
As some of you know, I am getting a LRN wednesday morning. It is only being done on one side of my back (as I will have to go "back" for the other side in a month or so). The procedure is considered to be a minimally invasive surgery, although its more of a procedure and some sites do consider it a non surgical procedure. That's not to downplay it totally as it is a pain procedure, and you have to be awake during the ordeal. Essentially a mild relaxant is given and local numbing agent is adminstered. Then the skin is pierced to the site of the nerve using a needle like device. A heating probe is then inserted into the needle and the nerve is tested with a jolt to make sure the right spot is being hit (from my understanding, this is somewhat painful as it can cause spasms). Then the area is heated a low temp (50c) for about 2 minutes leaving a lession on the nerve ending. This procedure is repeated for other affected nerves. The nerve doesn't die right away but over the next few days it spreads to affect nerve signals and sometime between 1 week and 1 month the nerve ending dies. Now it does grow back in roughly a few months to a year, and pain relief can last anywhere from 4 months to a year....sometimes longer. Pain is to be expected to increase for the first weak and then decrease over the next 3.
 
I am really nervous, but I am very hopeful that this procedure will give me up to 60 percent pain relief :)
 
I've read people's reviews and understand it is very painful, but that the pain is temporary. Here's hoping right?
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2282
   Posted 9/6/2010 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi GS-
I had that procedure done at 2 levels (L5/S1 & L4/L5) & it made a huge difference for me. Hope yours goes just as well.

frances

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/6/2010 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Frances. I am really hopefully it will work. The numbing tests performed already show thats it very likely that I will get atleast some noticable relief, and if its 60 percent like the numbing test showed, wow that would be significant. :)

I think I'm just worried about the pain level experienced and very nervous about the procedure. I've been having high levels of anxiety last night and parts of today. That uneasy feeling. I know I'll be ok and I'm definately going through with it. I do have support from loved ones too, which is a MAJOR blessing.

My anxiety was up a bit from this bit a rough finacial month, a change in work schedule (switching from nights to days), and well a friend of mine that lost her place to live is pretty much living with us now...which wasn't totally unexpected, but its a stressor. The procedure is drawing near so my anxiety has been peaking. I'm sure once its all said and done and I have a few days off work, those anxiety levels will drop back down again though :)
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 9/7/2010 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
 
Dear Grain,
 
      Good morning. I do hope you were able to relax somewhat over the holiday weekend. I wanted to tell you how terribly sorry I am for not responding to your email sooner. I have had a full plate for a  while and it just now started to slow down for a bit.
 
     I am so glad to hear your procedure is only a few days away. I have known many people who have had the procedure done for varying reasons. Some noticed relief within a few weeks, some had relief for 4 months and others didn't notice a reduction at all. I hope in your case that it helps. You have been in severe pain for a long time and it would be such a blessing if your pain levels were brought down.
 
     Remember to give us an update after your procedure to let us know how things went. Hang in there and stay strong!
 
*Hugg*
  dani

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator
Mail

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/7/2010 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Dani :)

I have relaxed somewhat since posting this yesterday. I'm willing and ready, and I think some of my fear was replaced by acceptance. I have anti-anxiety medication, but I try to avoid using it when I can. However, everything has its place and time; yestersday I let a half a pill melt under my tongue and since then I've actually been feeling much better. Since I calmed down, I talked to a loved one about it and they are very supportive so that really helped out a lot. I think talking about my fears on here and getting "the demons" out, and to replace it with care from you and Frances also made a difference Dani.

I will let you know how it all goes either Thursday or Friday as tommorow I'm probably going to want to sleep after the procedure. Thankfully it only requires mild relaxant medication as you have to be alert enough to guide them with answers (zaaaaap, yes, thats the nerve) but I'll probably be wanting to sleep after the ordeal, so hopefully thursday I'll be feeling well enough to post how it went.

Indeed Dani, I've had Chronic pain since late 2006, so it has been a long time of being in pain. I've been blessed with a few lules though, particularly after the epidural shots. Asside from that, there has been a few times that I would go without moderate to severe pain for 2 or 3 months, but it would always return and sometimes with a moderate punch, but this last go around the pain has been constant for since Jan 2010 (with the exception of brief epidural relief), so its time for some real relief :)
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13466
   Posted 9/7/2010 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Grain, it is also called radio frequency nerve ablation and there is even another name for the same procedure, depends on the dr doing it I think. I had it done on my neck and back and it worked great on my neck and did nothing for my low back. But it was well worth trying as far as I was concerned. Its one of those things that may or may not work. The only one I had some pretty bad pain with was with my low back but it was over so quick it really was not a big deal. I was also given some light sedation in an IV. I do hope this gives you some relief. Take care.

Susie

Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 9/7/2010 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi GOS,

I don't think we've talked before... but welcome to the board. From reading your posts, I can tell that you've dealt w/ lots in the chronic pain arena (unfortunately); thanks for taking the time to impart your wisdom onto others...and helping to support others. I look forward to getting to know you better :)

I don't know anything about the LRN... but I hope and pray it goes well for you, and that you get some good pain relief. Keep us posted on how things go for you, when you are feeling better...

Good luck tomorrow :)
--Tina
Main Health Issues: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibro; Chronic Pain (back issues, migraines, carpal tunnel, among other things); Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism and Hypoadrenalism; Mixed Sleep Apnea (on BiPap); Depression/Anxiety; Vitamin D Deficiency.

MAJOR surprise - Pregnant, w/ twin little girls (after six boys). Due Sept, 2010. Praying they are healthy. YES, you can have chronic pain AND have a successful pregnancy - not easy, but it can be done. :)

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/7/2010 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Straydog :)

In preparation, I have been using less of my pain medication in preparation for the procedure (and due to a decrease in pain severity as of recent, the first one in a long time) so if the pain afterwards comes in strong, I'll atleast be better prepared as tolerance to medication builds slowly and resets quickly (a few days of low dosing seems to do the trick). I am experiencing some mild withdraw, but its tolerable, and thankfully I got permission ahead of time to take my medication before the procedure, so atleast I have taken the preparations needed, plus I requested a few days off work for proper rest.

I do know what you are reffering to. From what I understand, theres a RF "lite" version of the procedure that uses pulsed heat instead of direct heat and it is supposed to be less painful and have a quicker healing time. However, the downside to that version of the procedure (as i understand it) is that the pain relief is sometimes less significant and the long lastingness of the procedure is usually shorter. Therefore, I'm ok with getting the original standard procedure. A little more pain now = good chance at less pain for up to 1 year.
 
I have heard the sucess rate is pretty good stray dog and I am very encouraged by that. I do understand that as Dani said, there's a possibility that the results might be less than expected, and if that is so, I can live with it. Better to know I tried to solve my issue, than to accept defeat and wonder what could have been while being in pain. I think attitude is a huge part of pain perception just like remaining active and having a support network is :)
 
Thanks Momto6boys for the support. I promise I will be here, rain or shine, sometime soon after the procedure :)
 
Ehhhh I try with the advice, sometimes I hit dead on and sometimes I fall off the horse. I try to keep my mouth shut if its something I'm in the dark about though, but even if a little light is shining in my brain, I tend to feel the desire to share it with others.


MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)

Post Edited (grainofsalt) : 9/7/2010 4:15:51 PM (GMT-6)


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2282
   Posted 9/7/2010 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
GS-
It's usually about 45 minutes. Not too bad compared to being in horrible pain all the time, right? ;)

What helped me was practicing 45 minutes worth of visualization in advance. The first time I pretended I was at a spa & there was really no pain at all (maybe a 1-2). My PM couldn't believe it.

The second time (different place) I didn't practice as much and was in quite a bit of pain.

The third time (same place as time 2), I went back to practicing & the pain was only slightly worse than the first time.

It's really amazing what our minds can do. Doesn't work all the time b/c at some point you need to participate in reality, but it's perfect for a short procedure like that.

I think it lasts maybe 75 minutes if you do it with sedation. Not sure. If you're going with anything more than local, just ask your PM how long from start to finish & get to practicing. :) I used the Stress Reduction Workbook to help me. Think of it as a chance to get in a free virtual vacation -- who doesn't need one of those?

take care,
frances

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 9/7/2010 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
GOS! Good luck tomorrow! Once again, I'm behind on my posting, as I deal with my own set problems.

Thank you so much for your help with members here on the forum. As you can see we need it. Many of our Moderators are struggling as well.

I would like to know more about your procedure that your having, and if it is something that may be beneficial for my lower back problem.

We look forward to you're report tomorrow.

Take care,

SE wink

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 9/7/2010 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Grainofsalt,

I just wanted to wish you well tomorrow. I've never had this specific procedure done before, but I know of others who have. I hope that the procedure itself is not too painful & that it is in fact successful in relieving some of your pain! Do let us know how it goes!

hugs,
Skeye

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13466
   Posted 9/7/2010 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope you get some relief from this procedure. You are so right about the mind and the perception of pain. It can be real easy to slip into a mode of feeling like a person can't do anything while having pain but that is the very worst thing a person can do is just lay down because of pain. Remaining as active as possible is a must. We learn to pace and do things a little differently at times.

I was not aware of a "liter" version RF, what you have described is what my PM dr did that did not work on me, and is what most on here have had. You will know when he hits the nerve that is the problem. That one will be the one that gives you the pain. Good to hear you are going to take a few days off to rest afterwards. Its well worth trying if a person has a chance at decreasing their pain. Let us know how you do...Susie

MsBunky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 9/8/2010 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Grain,

I just wanted to wish you all the best with this procedure. I hope it provides the pain relief you're hoping for and more. I'm having hip joint injections done next week, and anticipating the same response as you.

Big hugs...think beautiful thoughts while it's happening (sitting on the beach at dusk, sipping a cocktail, and watching the sun go down while the waves gently lap at your feet)

aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

Pam
DX: Fibro, Severe Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Surgical Adhesions, IBS, IC-PBS, Carpal Tunnel (both wrists), FAI, Reynauds, Opthalmic Migraines, Drug Related Hot Flashes, Physically Unable to Vomit due to Nissen Surgery, Extremely tiny and scarred veins (hard start for IV's)

Meds: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Cesamet, Flexeril, Clonidine plus Vitamin D + Multi daily

MIKEL99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 9/8/2010 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Grain , Hang in there friend , think of how great you'll feel in a few weeks !! Best of luck and please keep us posted !!! Mikel
HIV+. meds - epzicom, Kaletra . oxycontin as needed , indothemiacin . hip replacement surgery done !!! Dealing with healing now !!!

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/9/2010 2:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the support everyone. It was a very nice surprise to see all the support that has came in over the past fews days ;)

@SE, I'm going to try to dive into some details here, so that you and others will have a better understanding of this procedure (as in all honestly i learned quite a bit more about how it works myself today)

@ Straydog, I ended up receiving the "lite" version of this treatment. From the literature I had received, I thought I was getting the original procedure but I talked to my doctor and I ended up recieving the "pulsing (aka lite)" version instead of the steady heat version. This lite version does less damage to the nerve and does not kill the nerve ending like the full heat original version. As my doctor put it, it essentially "stuns" the nerve, which blocks nerve signals. Instead of killing the nerve, it bascially puts the nerve into a coma. The regular version where the nerve ending dies and regropws gives up to 1 year of pain relief. This version, because it incompacitates the nerve has a shorter duration (4 to 6 months), but the afterward pain is a somewhat less severe and the recovery time is a little quicker. I STILL dont fully understand the technique myself, so take my accuracy with a grain of salt here hehehe.

845am was rise and shine. At 920, I take 2 50 mg nucyntas as allowed before the procedure (100 mgs of nucynta is = 15 mgs of oxycodone...just so you have an idea of pre pain reduction potential) At 1000am im filling out forms and putting my john handcock on quite a few forms. At about 1015 im back in the operating room (which for a very minimally invasive surgery/procedure, I still find it funny when they said "doctor R, your paitent is ready in the OR" hehe). So now they verify that I know its my right side being done today and that in 3 weeks, I will be returning to get the left side done. MY BP was taken and it was 145/98, high but expectedly so. I'm placed face down on the table with rubber dams set up arround the area to be worked on. The skin is immediately cleaned and preped, and the first needle probe is applied (as our 2 more as 3 nerves are being worked on. once the needle probes are set in place, a needle with numbing agent is placed through the needle probes (which have been left in place) and the licocaine like material is dispensed. This is fairly painful for about 15 seconds but tolerable. Repeat x2 for other areas. Then a jolting electric probe is placed into the first needle probe and the doctor asks if I can feel pain and muscle spasms and the device jolts the nerve. THIS BY FAR was the most painful part of the ordeal. the electrical pulses are very strong and have to be applied long enough to make sure that ONLY the effect nerve is being touched. The first two areas jolted around the buttocks area and the first one jolted the thigh a bit. Therefore, it had to be adjusted and repeated. Ouch! The 3rd jolting area was short lived as it didnt affect the thigh or front leg muscles, but it caused my back to arch, which was very temporary but extremely painful (untolerable if it had gone on for more than the 5 to 10 seconds it did, hehe i actually yelled " thats good the correct spot ow oww owww oww owwwwwwww OK OK" hehe. SO now I was ready to have the nerves heated through pulsing to stun them. The First nerve wasn't to bad at first but the numbing agent didnt quite do its job. The pain started at about a 5 and ended up at about an 8 with a burning feeling, but by the time I hit that level of pain, he only had about 10 more seconds to apply the pulse so i told him just finish dont worry about numbing me more. The pain went down just a few seconds after he finished that nerve. The other 2 were almost painless as the numbing agent did its job well for those two nerves. The whole ordeal lasted only about 20 minutes total and I was done, so severe short pain but very short lived. I only experienced 2 short moments of extreme pain as the rest was quite tolerable.

I then went to the recovery room. MY pain level did go up a bit about 20 minutes after the procedure but it was tolerable. Walking was fairly difficult as I was limping (however after sleeping for 8 hours, I was walking normal when I woke up). My back wasn't spasming yet (the doctor said it soon would though) so rather than take more pain medication, I took my maximum dose of Klonopin (1mg yeah i know still pretty low), and a 5 mg cyclobenzarpine tablet. Now I hate cyclobenzaprine with a passion, but the combination of cyclobenzaprine and klonopin proved to be a very very good sedation/hypnotic combination and certainly keep the spasms at bay. I sleep for about 8 hours in a very lucid state, very peacefully, and when I woke up, I was quite out of it. In about an hour I was back to though, although by this time my pain was on the rise. I took a few Nucyntas which decreased the pain by about 50 percent to tolerable levels.

I definately believe the procedure will decrease atleast some of my pain because during the jolt test, some of the areas affected where areas I experience pain. I know this isn't a cure all, but again I do expect to see some results :) OVERALL, it wasn't too bad, and if anyone has this procedure recommended to them, I say take a few days off work and go for it.

@Skeye, Frances, and Ms Bunky - Yeah I tried to keep my mind off of it by focusing on giving detailed answers to the doctor. I made sure the main info he needed to know was front loaded but then tried to make it a complete setence as to focus on talking and get my mind off the pain. It did help somewhat. I think ill try the desert island next time hehe.
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Wednesday, December 07, 2016 9:20 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,734,098 posts in 301,179 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151306 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, EnuffIsEnuff.
360 Guest(s), 11 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
PeteZa, tennisplayer, tickcheckguy, compiler, Gear, Tick41, PamSmith, NiceCupOfTea, ChickNorris, Tim Tam, iPoop


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer