I have a question. I to have been dealing with back issues since july 05. I have had numerous esi's, nerve ablation on my facets in l4-l5, l5-s1 fusion. Where exactly do they do the ablation for the s1 joint? I am also seeing a pain management dr. Actually 2 who are working hand in hand. I also do pt for 2 years also. They just tried a tens unit on me last week and it was pretty interesting. I am curious how far down they do for the ablation. I did have an s1 joint injection (no sedation i might add ) they gave me a choice but I said just do it. I wanted to feel for myself if they were in the right spot. call me crazy. Anyway thanks for your post.
My Ablation was done for the hypogastric plexus. So it is very low in the spine, below the pelvis actually. My pain area is the lower left quadrant where the ovary used to be and near the bladder. I had NO loss of sensation in the lower nether regions, and I have had no ill effects on the bladder. I will be repeating my block in the next few weeks once the insurance pre-approval is done. I was actually told they do it two ways now. With pulsed sound waves, or the traditional heat burn. One interesting thing is they prefer the sound waves version, because rarely with the traditional heat version, if you need to have it repeated several times, scar tissue can develop. But he stressed this is a RARE occurance. With the pulsed frequency, they do not have the same occurance. So for temporary, I am back on pain meds while I wait for the insurance stuff. The kicker to that.... Most insurance companies don't cover the pulsed, there is no code for it yet and they don't understand it... LOL! So that is why the doc's end up doing the traditional heat version. Anywhoo, the bottom line for all of this.... There is hope! Be open to experiment, because you will never know if it works or not, unless you try. You have options.
My ablation was done one year ago August. I had the traditional heat burn, the placement of the catheter was in the lower right abdominal quadrant. The bruising I experienced was unbelieveable, it was the size of a small frying pain! But thankfully the procedure worked very well and I have been nearly pain free in that area since then. However I do occasionally get little twinges of pain in that area that reminds me of how it used to be. The pain subsides in seconds, nothing I need pain meds for. I would not hesitate to have an ablation done again if need be. I'm so pleased with the results!
The nerves I had ablated ran through the right side of the SI (sacroiliac) joint and I think they treated S1 through S4. They also messed around some with my lumber area, however, I learned later that this is only because this is how the SI joint is mobilized, not because they were treating a lumbar problem. So, I had a number of needle sticks during the procedure, however, I was pretty comfy as I was sedated but still communicating with the team doing my procedure. Since you are a back pain patient as well, I will also say this to you: In my particular case, I had 6 weeks of pretty intense nerve pain following the procedure before it all died off. I had to increase my nerve pain meds (Lyrica) to deal with this. However, the terrible throbbing pain in my back was gone within days. I guess what I'm saying is that while I found this procedure to be good for me, everyone has to weigh the risks, benefits and discomfort associated with the procedure with the degree of pain they are experiencing. I would not recommend a nerve ablation for someone experincing a little bit of pain. However, I had moved from Percocet to a Fentanyl patch (and Lyrica and Topamax), so boy was I ready. Hope this is helpful. I wish you the best!
Thank you for the reply. I think I might ask my pain management dr about the possibility of this. I remember when I had the SI joint injection that it did increase my pain in my legs and buttocks. So I knew they were in the right area for this pain. During the procedure the dr said my SI joint did not look right to him - on either side. I am taking cymbalta 120 mg, tramadol 4-8 50 mg pills, and at least 1 percocet at night. I am trying to get off the tramadol and percocet but the pain is way to high. I tried last year and ended up cracking 3 of my molars due to clenching. The appointment is on the 16th october. I'll let you know what he says.
Kelkal, by the way, hello, I do not have the names of any specific comprehensive websites describing this procedure and I did not find any in my web searches. This is not to say that there is not information out there. You can do a Google search for "radiofrequency nerve ablation" or "....nerve lesioning" and you will come up with some information. You can also find information on this procedure on pain-management websites, most often for back pain, but you can ablate other nerves as well. Initially, they were targeting my ilioinguinal nerves until the diagnosis was changed. Hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you in getting your pain issues resolved. Lisa
Not quite the same but I have had RFA to my liver . I was dx with stage IV with mets to the liver. After my hysterectomy, the only visible disease was in my liver, so I was sent to an Interventional Radiologist for the RFA and it got rid of the small tumors that were left. Unfortunatly my first recurrence was also in my liver, But I had another RFA and the are now gone also. The best part was no long hospital stay and no pain afterwards.
Thank you all so much for sharing about nerve ablation. I'm seeing an oncologist for never-ending endo, despite a hysterectomy, and pelvic pain. He just did my 9th surgery to try to get this thing solved, but the pain has only increased.
He mentioned nerve ablation before as a potentially final pain solution. The thought of it scared me too much to go through with it. Particularly terror of becoming incontinent.
After reading your posts, though, it sounds like it's time to visit the pain management doc and see if this can work for me. Thank you so much for easing my fears!