Posted 6/1/2009 1:27 AM (GMT -6)
I have many nerves treated in my spine over the past 5 years. I don't know about abdominal pain and the location of those nerves but the nerves in the back are accessible by injection using a C-arm flourosope for guidance. I have had both the RF nerve burning and the chemical nerve killing procedures. The RF (radio frequency) attempts to heat or fry the nerves and kill them but they seem to reconnect within 1-2 years, sometimes less. The chemical treatment is permanent. I have only had one that had to be reinjected. The chemical agent used for me was phenol.
This procedure has been quite effective in reducing low back pain as a result of failed back syndrome. The specific nerves were the medial branch nerves near the facet joints. As for numbness, I really don't notice it unless I am having a really bad day with pain all over the back. Then I can feel the numbness at the surface near the injection sites.
As with any denervation procedure, there is always the possibilty of nerves finding new pathways around the denervation area. It can happen but the growth rate of nerves is very slow.
Because there is a topical anesthetic injected to ease the procedure there may be some short term numbness in the legs for a few hours. The real potential risk is killing the wrong nerve. If you kill a motor nerve you are going to have a problem. Make sure you doc is well trained in the procedure and has done a large number of these on other patients. Mistakes here can be tragic but rare.
Hope this helps.