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Hi, I have a severe neck pain, and I tried all the medication and injection. I still suffer, and I have to make a next step. Can you tell me something about cervical rhizotomy procedure?

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Hi, rhizotomy is a procedure used for relieving the pain. A doctor uses cold or heat to intentionally damage the nerve that sends signals of pain to the brain. Nerves sometimes become problematic, and they keep sending false information about the pain to the brain. Drugs are not the right solution for this problem, because the nerve is still stuck after the therapy, and not to mention all the problems that medications can cause on internal organs. That‘s why is the cervical rhizotomy procedure is better solution for this problem. If you have stuck nerve in your neck, cervical rhizotomy will probably help you, because the pain signal will be turned off at the source. This procedure is done by placing a needle with an electrode at the tip along side nerves, and electrode is then heated, with a technology called radiofrequency. There is a new technique that uses pulsed radiofrequency, and instead of burning the nerve, it actually stun it.
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Hi there i also had a Cervical Rhizotomy done and have even more problems than before, i get dizzy when turning my head i can not move fast it is to me many times worse now than ever Thanks Joe
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i have severe neck pain & also TMJ. I received over 50 shots from the TMJ Dr in my face, neck, head & shoulders. I had a good improvement from them. I was waiting for 15 months for my ins co to approved my rhizotomy. i just had it done Apr 14 & 28, 2008. I am also in alot more pain from the rhizotomy. Almost immediately after the Dr did the left side :'( I was hysterically crying b/c u only get half anesthesia b/c u have to be partially awake to respond. I had temp paralysis on my left side. I had to take alot more medication then normal to deal w the pain. as of right now I feel i made a mistake & shouldnt have gotten the rhizotomy. I havent been able to drive, clean my house, exercise or pretty much do anything w my upper body since the surgery.
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I have progressive facet joint degeneration in the C3-4 and C4-5 region. It's on the left side of my neck and the pain radiates down the left clavicle. Was sent to rheumatologist and spine specialist and told to get a pain mgt doctor by my PCP. Well I wish I had used my PCPs pain doc. I used the spine doctor's recommendation. This pain mgt doctor specializes in back and spine, but I also have severe arthritis in knees, hips other joints as well as severe fibromyalgia. I questioned whether I should be seeing a different pain doctor when I walked into this pain doctor's office. They assured me they could manage it all. My PCP wanted the pain doctor to take over my medication management first and foremost but suggested facet injections might help for my neck.

After meeting with the APRN for 20 minutes describing my issues, signing a pain contract and doing a tox screen pee test, the doctor walks in the room, says I need facet joint injections and to schedule the appt with the front desk. He spent about 3 minutes explaining the procedure. The APRN handed me my scripts which were exactly the same meds and strengths I had been on which were not controlling my pain effectively which is why I was sent there to begin with. I asked about the other problems, and was asked what hurt the most? My neck? I need the injections. See ya.

The injections helped for one DAY. I am out of pocket $2200.00. I go back 2 weeks later for the follow up and was told I needed a rhizotomy. Make the appt at the desk. Sorry about your other pain. No med change. I informed my PCP and rheumy as to what he wanted to do, and both of them looked at me with raised eyebrows and said to get a second opinion. My rheumy was also very upset that he was ignoring my fibro and other joints completely. He said if the injections only worked while the lidocaine was in there, he wasn't convinced that this would even help and a rhizotomy, especially in the cervical spine, is always a procedure of last resort after medications, even stronger opiates, physical therapy, and a series of injecttions have all failed. There is a risk of paralysis, and even an increased in pain. This doctor admitted it's painful to go through and would take at least 45 minutes and I would not even be given ANY sedation as I had to be wide awake. IF it worked, it would have to be done every 9-15 months. He doesn't even use the safer pulse technology as recommended for the c-spine. It's the old technology steady burn.

Oh, did I mention he owns the surgery center?

Sorry but if anyone is considering this, I hope they know what they are getting themselves into. This is a risky and painful procedure. Think carefully. I love how every single spine center I've seen online all seem to push these procedures and NEVER mention medication, physical therapy, biofeedback, massage or any other non surgical treatment options. Lots of money in 'procedures". I was in the OR for 7 MINUTES when I had those useless injections. The $2000.00 was just my deductible. They charged my insurance company 350.00 for another tox screen (10 panel urine). Outrageous. My doctor charged over 500.00 PER injection. Not bad for 7 minutes of work. Nice money if you can get it.
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I suffer from migraines and my neuroligist insisted I see the pain management clinic for a facet joint block. I trusted this doc as she is the same person I saw for my back pain (herniated L4-L5) and my back feels great! I should mention my migraine pain often started in the right side of my neck and no amount of pain meds helped...vicodin every six hours and continous ice paks - and that was MY prescription!! After 2 facet joint blocks there was no relief and was told I needed a rhizotomy. I'm in more constant pain than ever!!! At least the migraines were 24/7. Oh, I'm also numb in parts of my neck, right side of my chest, rt shoulder and rt upper back. They said that should only last a couple days. Now the doc said maybe 5-6 months.

I know I made a mistake. I'll take the migraine pain any day over this!
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I just had a cervical rhizotomy 5 days ago and haven't been able to get out of bed since. This is much worse than any neck pain I ever had before. And no pain med-doctor just doesn't believe in it.
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PLEASE HELP Hi I 2 had cervical rhizotomy 5 days ago, and i am going crazy with pain and numbness, have i too made a drastic mistake? please tell me yours has improved ? have you had to have any other intervention?
Following a car crash 2.5 years ago , im left with severe pain and problems on my left side, but had facit injections three times previous to this procedure, the third set of injections gave me hope id be normal again which is why i went for the rhizotomy... WHAT A MISTAKE
any advice welcomed. ann
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I had a cervical rhizotomy on my right side this last week on my right side of my neck and am having the other side done next week. the only thing I can say about the first rhizotomy is that I still have the neck pain which I told I would have and that it would take about 3 weeks to get the relief I am looking for. I am still on the same opoid meds for my neck and back problems due to cancer. I cannot say today if this has helped me but I hope so. I am looking for some relief 8
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Hello
I just read thru the posts of everyone that has problems above, and it left me wondering. I had a bad accident back in 1996 that stretched and tore the nerve from my shoulder to the little holes where the nerve roots enter the left side of my spine. I had cervical fusion done C4/C5/C6 and altho it helped, the only mistake was that I didn't remember them telling me that when you fuse one area of the spine, it makes the area above and below the fusion more prone to herniated discs. Right on... I have two below and one above the fusion.

I have had the same pain mgmt dr from the Neurosurgeons Group since 1996. He served in the military and was injured himself when terrorists tried to blow up the USS Cole. He has more scars and has had more treatment than most of his patients, but he has turned into an excellent doctor. He is first off a board certified anesthesiologist, and also a board certified physiatrist.

We have been thru PT, and Epidural Steroids, and Facet Blocks and three months ago, I had cervical ablations done at at C5 C6 and the results were fantastic. No immediate side effects, no long term side effects and results were successful. Yes I was told that they may need to be repeated in 9-12 months. He used the frequency modulation method for doing the ablation (rhizotomy) correct, no anesthesia for the procedure, as he first stimulated the specific nerve to elicit a response, before zapping the nerve .

I have developed pinched nerve symptoms now at C3 C4 going right up into my head, causing migraines. Same routine, PT, epidural steroids and no luck, so I will undergo ablation this week for C3 C4. My only concern is that up this high is where hemipeligia and paralegic symptoms occur in trauma, but I trust this doctor's skill and technique.

I think the one thing I have in my favor is my doctors training and real life background. His being an anesthesiologist gives him a wide perspective of pain management. His specialty as Physiatrist also give him further background both in PT and Pain Management.

I've had excellent results with this Dr up to now, and if anyone is seeking treatment in SW Florida, email me for information on how to contact this physician.

All the best !!
Bruce in Cape Coral FL
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Just wondering if anyone with negative feedback has had any improvement? I have heard mixed reviews on how long it takes to feel better. There is no reason however, to do this procedure without sedation. I would report the doctor who forced that. It is true that you must be awake but concious sedation is perfectly fine.
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I have had this done over the last 2 years 4 times 3 on the right and 1 on the left. I have never been sedated. I some times question why I go back but im in so much pain that it does give little relief. I also take alot of pain meds im on Embeda 20 mg 3xs aday, Cymbalta 60 mgs 2xs a day, baclofen 30 mgs 3 xs a day and depakote 500 mgs a day. My problem is the c1-c2 and the drs say its to close to the brain to do surgery. I also get the botox injections with this. I have unlike some of the other post done all other treatment massage,physical,steroid injections,tens unit and many more. ACtually 198,000.00 worth. Maybe this will help.
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Hi, I have read all the posts with interest as I am three weeks post-rhizotomy after having gone through the series of injections. My pain episode started 20 years ago when many of the procedures available today were non-existent. Basically, treatment then involved PT & NSAID's and if no relieve was received surgery was the next step. (at that point my main problem was a ruptured disk at C4-C5 and excruciating headaches). My choice was to forgo surgery and learn to live with it with many limitations on my activities. Because I gave up on the medical field as such to help with my pain issues, I was left with Tylenol or Advil.

The pain has just become unbearable in the last couple of years and a new MRI indicated that my issues are many but all involve the cervical region. I went to a PM Dr. who was part of the medical group I was using but all he was able to do was give me non-effective meds, trigger point injections in my neck and laser treatments. After nearly a year of this, he shook his head and called me his problem child and recommended that I see a PM/anesthesiologist.

This new doctor has been wonderful and willing to use more powerful meds and started the whole routine of injections including several epidurals and facet joint injections finally moving into my neck region as most of my pain was neck and occipital region. Each helped for about two weeks max and he finally suggested the Rhizotomies. At that point I was up for anything. Although he did not use IV sedation, I was given a strong dose of Xanax to take 45 minutes pre-procedure and was able to pinpoint the four nerve bundles on the right side. I was scheduled to have the left and less problematic side done a month later. That's not going to happen!!!!

I have developed an occipital neuralgia which is similar to the pain of shingles. It covers the middle of my head on the right side down to my shoulders and is very painful. He has tried numerous pain medications but they are wiping me out and only one even touches the pain (Nucynta). I do have Percocet which isn't very helpful nor are the Fentanyl patches. I am now on medical leave from work and about to lose my mind due to lack of sleep. I am alternating ice packs and heat and hoping this is a temporary side effect. Since it is Friday I am going to give it the weekend and call him if this continues. BTW, the medication for the neuralgia is Lyrica. I started at 75 mg and am down to 25 and still can't tolerate it. I've had about 3 hours sleep in the last 30 hours.

Has anyone else had this neuralgia after the Rhizotomy? The deep nerve pain is gone!!! Hurray! But the headaches and surface pain has me feeling like a couch potato as there is not much I am able to do. Always very active, this is the hardest part. Thanks for listening and I'd love to hear if anyone has had the same or similar experience.

Lynn
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Who is your doctor?
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I have had a rhizotomy and I dont know why I left it so long
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