Nerve cauterize procedure?

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MommaKiKi
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 8/22/2012 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all! I posted this in my "home" forum (Fibro) and it was suggested that I post here in CP about it, as you all may have experience with this.

I saw my PM last Friday and he wants to cauterize nerves in my shoulder and shoulder blade area in an attempt to control my pain. If the procedure is successful, he wants to do the same in both of my hips. His logic is cauterizing- killing the nerves what are causing me pain- will decrease my need for medication. He is not anti-medication, but he wants to try to lessen the need for them by doing this.

I'm not completely sold on this procedure. He told me to do some research and put me on the schedule in 2 weeks for the procedure so I have time to decide. I've read several horror stories and a few success stories as well. My biggest issue is what if I NEED to feel that area, but I can't? I don't want to loose feeling completely, I don't want to drop things or be unable to "feel".

Obviously, I'm on the fence about the procedure. I would greatly appreciate hearing any experience you may have had with this.

Thank you in advance!

grandmaroses
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 8/22/2012 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
As a Fm sufferer I can only imagine how appealing it sounds to not have all this pain. My family doctor suggested something similar that's why he referred me to the pm doctor that I see who has just started mentioning this idea to me. I am going to watch your post with great interest I hope you don't mind.
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

Fusiongirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 8/22/2012 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there

That sounds very like radio frequency ablation that many of us are offered for back pain. I had it in my sacroiliac joints for severe pain. I'm afraid it didn't work for me however that's not to say it wouldn't work for you. Unfortunately the only way to know is to try.

It doesn't cause numbness (at least it didn't for me but I am sure it doesn't). They usually offer steroid and local anesthetic injections first and then proceed in a few weeks to the RFA if the local gives relief, even just momentarily. I live in the UK so there may be variations in the procedures.

I have no experience in the areas you are having problems with but the procedure will be similar I would imagine. I had it done under sedation, just enough to knock me out but still understand commands, and I remember nothing after the sedation was given. My advice to you would be give it a go. If there is nothing to gain you have not a lot to lose. After the RFA I had a fair bit of pain for a bit over a week, if I remember correctly. Pain enough to need meds, maybe a 4 or a 5. If it works you may get good sustained relief for months or more, and it can be repeated.

This is just my opinion, others may disagree but I always think that, at the stage we are at in pain all the time, these things are worth trying if it reduces pain and allows me to reduce my pain meds.

Let us know how you go, and feel free to ask any more questions.

Best wishes

Jane

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11052
   Posted 8/22/2012 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Momma welcome to the CP forum. I am sorry that your are having such difficult time,pain can be just relentless at times.

I agree with FusionGirl, I too have had this procedure done on both my neck and back. It worked great on my neck but it did nothing for my low back. Having permanent or temporary numbness was not caused at all or ever discussed as a possible side effect from having the procedure done. I have noticed that this procedure has been called other names than what I know it as and it was the same thing.

Only you can decide what type of treatment you are interested in trying. These injections are a hit or miss type of thing. Some thing are worth trying. Take care, Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

MommaKiKi
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 8/22/2012 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I think we may not be talking about the same procedure. He spoke of this as an outpatient surgery where he would make an incision and physically "burn" the nerves with a laser. I'm sorry for not stating that before. :-)

Here is a link that better explains the procedure. I hope it's ok that I post this. It's not an advertisement, just explains it better than I can. Mine, however, would be in a different location. It mentions the spine and discs in this article.
www.backsurgery-info.info/idet

I've had the injections (local anesthetic and corticosteroid) without any relief. And I've used a T.E.N.S. unit, also without relief. My PM thinks this more aggressive treatment will be successful, though I'm not sure about it.

MommaKiKi
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 8/22/2012 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the kind words and welcomes. :-) We are all woven together in our chronic pain. You all will be in my prayers. Thanks again!
MommaKiKi~Kristie

Loving husband, 2 beautiful kiddos

DX: fms, ra
Meds: I'll just say lots and leave it at that! LOL

Recoveryme2day
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/22/2012 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I have heard of the nerve ablation procedure, I discussed it with my pm awhile ago. Part of the procedure is to inject the area with pain meds(I can't remember the name) first to see if there is any releif and then move onto the ablation. I did not receive any relief from the injections so I am not a candidate but i would have been all over it. Good Luck.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Brain Tumor 2nd, crainiotomy 2002, radiation 2007, mild scoliosis, carpal tunnel, surgical menopause, 44yrs old and on disability since 2009.

Fusiongirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 8/23/2012 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
No Kristie

That is a new one on me. It way more invasive than what I had done. It sounds quite new so it may be hard to get opinions.

It may well be worth it but you certainly would need time to think it through, it would be a better alternative to surgery if that is all that is left as long as it would not cause further pain for you. Best of luck to you. Please let us know your decision. Sorry or offering advice on the wrong procedure.

Jane

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 8/23/2012 11:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there...

I'm a bit confused if your Dr. is suggesting the IDET for your shoulder or Fibro pain?

This particular procedure, the IDET, is specifically for disc issues in the spine and was primarily approved/done for lumbar discs.

Hence the name, Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty.

They place you face down and a hollow introducer needle is inserted into the painful lumbar disc using a x-ray machine for guidance.

Then an electrothermal catheter (heating wire) is then passed through the needle and positioned along the back inner wall of the disc (the annulus), the site believed to be the cause of the pain.

The catheter tip is then heated up to about 90 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

The heat contracts and thickens the collagen fibers making up the disc wall, thereby promoting closure of the cracks and tears. Tiny nerve endings within these tears are cauterized (burned), making them less sensitive.

Then they usually have you wear a back brace for 6-8 weeks along with cautions of any bending and lifting.

So..I would double check about the procedure name as this is not done to anyplace else within the body but the discs of the spine.

From what you are describing for your shoulder or for Fibro pain it does sound more like nerve ablation or RFA as others have mentioned.

This is similar in the sense that it "heats up" the nerve endings to help with pain but it is not the IDET procedure.

I have had quite a few RFAs done and it helped for a certain period of time. But I had extensive disc herniations that needed surgery to help with the nerve pain.
SB (Snowbunny) and the pup that snores (my yellow lab:))

3, two-level, cervical fusions over the past 11 years. The last one was anterior and posterior with lots of fun titanium!
Still have active herniations along with knee problems and another Morton's neuroma in left foot.
I try to find joy in each day even with chronic pain:)

MommaKiKi
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 8/24/2012 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I called pm's office to get a better explanation of the procedure he wants to do. The nurse said after admission to the surgical center, I will go through surgery prep. Once I'm prepped and under anesthesia, doctor will make a series of small incisions into my shoulder and will use a scope-type instrument to locate and identify the nerves. Then he will use a tool that produces heat and will cauterize the nerves. After the procedure, I will have a few small stitches and will be moved into recovery. As far as after care, it was pretty much standard. I've had outpatient surgeries before (appendix, endoscopy, etc)

Anywhoooo, it's a moot point because I'm not going to have the surgery. I can always change my mind later and do it, but I can't un-do it once it's done. :-)
MommaKiKi~Kristie

Loving husband, 2 beautiful kiddos

DX: fms, ra
Meds: I'll just say lots and leave it at that! LOL

Matt-man&little-boy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 788
   Posted 8/24/2012 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
It doesn't sound like something I'd want to have done, I have a chronic pinched nerve in my left shoulder, and there are many times when I can't even hold on to my pants to button them with my left hand. I drop things frequently with that hand, and get really weird electric feelings going all the way down my arm through the last three fingers, if such a procedure were to cause some of that to be constant, I'd go nuts.
Matt
dx: L3-4 central bugsplat left nerve root is severed, T12-L1 left protrusion, congenital partial fusion C2-3, Rouxen-Y gastric bypass in 2003, Bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis, and bone and cartilage mutilation in left shoulder. Aspergers, and previous adrenaline junkie.

bwfm
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 8/27/2012 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I hadn't heard of this procedure until I talked to my beautician last month. She was in a bad car wreck around 10 years ago and had debilitating headaches for years due to the straightening of her cervical spine caused by the tight muscles in her neck. At the time she saw the pain doctor, she had had a headache for 5-1/2 weeks and was at the end of her rope. He did the nerve ablation and had to repeat it three more times until she had complete relief of all her headaches. She hasn't had headaches since.

My daughter's neurologist also brought up this procedure as an alternative to placing coils in the back part of her skull (under the skin) to keep her headaches at bay (also caused by a bad car wreck in 2003). It's like having a TENS unit in your head. My daughter can barely function and also has a straightened cervical spine because of the tight muscles in her neck. If it were me, I'd take the chance of the ablation over having coils placed in my brain, even if it had to be repeated again. My beautician said she had immediate relief of up to 8 months the first time she had the ablation.

HeatherG1976
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/28/2012 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 
I'm wondering if that is something a person has mentioned to be once because her father had it done. Does that cause you to have numbness in the limb they do it on? This lady said her dad's leg was numb because of it. I told her there was no way i would do it if that was the case. My pain is in my rear end, goes down my right leg and covers my entire foot. I don't want all that to go numb on me.
 
If ur doctor is 100% sure it will help I would definetly do a search on the net to find other stories on the subject...then decide.
 
Good luck!
Heather
 
 

McCorrySr
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/28/2012 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone, I have had the RFA Procedure multiple times on C4-C7. Prior to having this done, I did have some steroid injections in the area to see if there would be some relief. This procedure varies for many patients. I received some good relief on my first procedure and it did reduce the amount of meds needed. It lasted 6 months. The second time I had the procedure done t lasted maybe a month. I am not sure why this happened.
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