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Posted in: Chronic pain, and Pain management.

Has anyone had or even heard of nerve rhizotomy or burning the nerves?

Started by LoisWd on 03/15/2010 6:48pm

Had 360 fusion of L4 - S1 nine years ago and have really bad arthritis that they tell me is one of the sad side effects many years out from multi level fusions. They did some facet injectiions a few weeks ago and they are doing nothing because my problem is pain at my surgery sites and now in my hip sockets, since I no longer have facets from L4-S1 they put the shots in above the area. Now they are telling me they want to burn the nerve endings (rhizotomy?) and that many people can go pain free for months at a time before the nerves grow back. I am not sure I want to even do this and was hoping someone could let me now if they have had this done and if it works?

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3 Responses


My daily job involves heavy lifting, pulling, crouching, bending in wierd places, and a lot of stress repairing systems. The radiofrequency treatment took my pain level from an 8 to a 3 and I was able to function for several months. However when it comes back it has hurt worse for me. A lot of it deals with my work, and Im convinced that I will somehow have to make a career move. That being said those I know including myself did have good relief from it, but I have so many other underlying conditions that its hard for me to keep getting them done... Im under 30 L5 S1 L4..... .... and other discs are bulged or herniated. I have been told other than fusion I cant have much else done. I have to go to my spine doc tommorow Im having difficulty walking severe migraines, and left face numbness. Anyways it may seem vodoo and research limited, but honestly it did work wonders for me. Again Im not a doctor but it kept me from having to take muscle relaxents, steroids, NSAIDS, and narcotic pain pills for 8months. I was able to maintain just on naproxen (prescript ibuprofen). I guess you dont know till you try, if insurance covers it, its worth a shot. Hope this helps.


They may be refering to Radio Frequency Leisioning. This is a procedure where they heat up the nerve with radio waves (like a microwave) just enough to kill the inside of the nerve. After the procedure it takes 7-10 days for the nerve to die. This can give great pain relief for 6-12 months, but you want to make sure that you have a certified and experienced pain management DR. do the procedure. I have had this done 7 times to treat severe neck pain with great success.

Take to you pain management Dr. about this and also do some reading on the internet to get all the info before you have it done. You are awake (but with some sedation) during the procedure and will experience some discomfort and pain during it and for a couple of days afterward, but it was really worth it for me...all 7 times.


thank you so much for the feedback I will definitley talk to my Dr this week about it. I am not sure if insurance will ok it so that means it is all up in the air anyway. I manage most days with just a couple of pain pills but know that being on them all the time isn't very good for me either. and I am reading so many posts on this website and I actually feel I am one of the lucky few. so many folks have it so much worse so I won't feel sorry for myself and I do get out everyday and try to function at some level but man oh man some days it really sucks being in this broken down beat up old body!! LOL It is good to know that so many of us back patients can reach out for help and advice thanks y'all!