Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thursday, May 28, 2009 beanie, Community Member, asks

Q: radiofrequency facet nerve ablation

i am schedualed to have a facet nerve block, which, if successful i will then have a radiofrequency act nerve ablation.

my question is: how much relief and how long will it last

why isn't the pain relief permanent?...

does the nerve tissue grow back...

can you have the procedure done again?


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Answers (3)
5/28/09 3:11pm

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is preceeded by nerve blocks of the median branch that innervates the facet joint. These nerve blocks are temporary and are just meant to assess how much pain relief might be achieved by an ablation of the nerve. Typically the blocks will last less than a week. The RFA can achieve up to one year of pain relief for an individual. The nerve repairs and the RFA has to be repeated. Results will vary greatly; some people get 100% relief some people get none.


Link to read more about radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of referred pain.


Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

jrm, Community Member
5/28/09 5:02pm

Hi Beanie, I had the nerve blocks done in my neck on both sides. Wasn't really sure if they helped or not but I went on and had the denervation done that you are talking about. That didn't help at all in fact I think it made my nerves worse. I'm not trying to talk you out of it because everyones body reacts differently to different proceedures. I hope that it works for you. I do know that you can have it done again in the future if the effects wear off at least that is what my pain management doctor told me. Good luck and let me know if you get pain relief from the proceedure.Smile

beanie, Community Member
6/ 5/09 10:29am


i am schedualed to have the facet nerve blocks on june 19th

i have had chronic cervical pain for the past 19 years after a botched surgery and then two additional surgeries to correct everything!

about 8 months ago i was dealing  with "acute" chronic pain and became very proactive in my treatment

i switched around my Rx's and completed an intense 4 week pain management program

new mri....saw a pain management anesthesiologist and now my upcoming procedure

i had surgery at 4-5-6 and now having multiple herniated and bulging discs as well as stenosis...and severe facet involvement

people think i really deal well because i make myself "look good" everyday and i get out there for one event a day...all while i am actually at an 8 (all the time)

sorry you didn't get the 

 results you hoped for with the ablation but i must go forward with a positive attitude

what is the story with your neck?


Rod, Community Member
4/21/10 11:07pm

I'm facing my 2nd medial branch nerve block Friday.  Mine is the lumbar, not the cervical, but I had a lot of success with the nerve block, and got about 9 or 10 days of relief, which was significant.  He only did one side, and I felt like it was non-existent, while the right side continued to provide significant pain (prior to the procedure, the left side was much more painful).  If this one is successful (and i'm praying it is!) I'll be a candidate for the ablation.  I wish you as much success as I've had.  I've been in treatment for over a year with a spinal specialist, and all along the MD suggested the pain came from a torn disc, while his nurse prac initially said it could very well be facet-related pain.  Looks like she was right.  I was bummed after receiving 3 epidurals with very little relief.  I actually got more relief from the local anesthetic than I did from the epidural steroid injection.  I really do hope you receive some relief--I live at a 7 or 8 every day, and like you said, most people have no idea.  You're in my prayers!

RSDDON, Community Member
9/ 9/10 9:27pm

Hi. I had the procedure done last year and it was horrible. The pain,which I never thought could be, was so intense for so long, I felt it was inhuman to suffer that way. My doctor told me that his best case scenario was at least a year or more of no pain and that all nerves grow back and some patients can have procedure again if need be. I had it done cervical, left side and since then cant sleep on my head or lay certain ways. I had an excellent doctor and spoke to numerous other people who had procedure about 50% said they were relieved others agreed not to have it again. I guess success depends on every individual and circumstance. When in pain like I have been for 9 years you do whatever seems promising. I was desperate and the meds I was taking weren't helping any more. With all the new laws and the people who abuse the system I could not find the right medical care and still struggle for pain relief. So I weaned myself off of my pain med of 8yrs and now use 10-12 tylenol a day. I have lost faith in the medical system. Im just telling you this so you make sure you have made an educated decision to have this procedure and if you have a good dr. make sure you ask what is the next step if this doesnt work. I wish you well and I will be praying for you.Please post and let us know how you made out. Good Luck!

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By beanie, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 05/28/09