Avatar universal

How long will it take to realize that Radiofrequency Ablation isn't working for me?

I had right RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation) on the right side 3/6/20 and on 3/27/20 the left side was done.  The area done was L4 - S1.  Due to the pandemic, my left side procedure was rescheduled from 3/20/20.  My lower back pain became very severe again a few days before March 27th's procedure.  Another fun fact:  They would not put me completely to sleep (a level10 as the anesthesiologist stated) instead I would be made comfortable but aware of some pain/pressure (a level 6 as the anesthesiologist stated).  I asked why.  Simple fact;  you tend to drool/cough and they don't want your germs.  Hmm OK.   Well I through it ok and went home and rested and used ice as directed.   OK BUT I am in pain still and expecting it to calm down and then hopefully a period of no back pain until the nerves regenerate.   I assume the right side will generate before the left because that side was done 3 weeks before the left side.  If eventually I discover RFA isn't cutting it, what is the next step?
1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
15695260 tn?1549593113
Hello and welcome to the forum.  This sounds very frustrating, I understand how you must feel.  And the procedure with less than usual anesthesia sounds difficult to say the least.  It's such a difficult time right now for our health care and I'm sure this is all taking quite a toll on you.  Pain relief from radiofrequency ablation typically happens in 2 to 3 weeks so I don't think you are wrong to expect the side done first to begin to feel better. The unfortunate truth is that the procedure does not work for everyone.  More than 70% of patients who receive this type of treatment have pain relief.  Is it too soon to know if it has been successful for you?  Possibly.  Is the pain like you had pre ablation or more like muscle spasming?  There is also slight risk of infection.  You had that ruled out?

Here is a basic guide for readers to know about this procedure.  It normally is well tolerated and works pretty well.  I know with the current situation of the pandemic, doctors are seeing patients in person much less right now (which is better for you so to avoid transmission), however they seem to be doing much more 'telemedicine'.  I highly recommend you check in with your doctor for your next step.  
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Back & Neck Community

Top Pain Answerers
Avatar universal
st. louis, MO
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
Could it be something you ate? Lack of sleep? Here are 11 migraine triggers to look out for.
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.
Tips for preventing one of the most common types of knee injury.
Here are 10 ways to stop headaches before they start.
Tips and moves to ease backaches