Radio frequency ablation -SI joint

Posted by meesh @meesh, Dec 25, 2022

Please if anyone had the SI joint block injection test with success and then had Radio frequency ablation for SI joint, I would love to hear from you. SI joint block injection test indicated I would be good candidate for radio frequency ablation (RFA). Schedule early Jan. Thank you!!!!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Chronic Pain Support Group.

Yes, I have had RFAs for SI joint many times. I have pretty severe lumbar issues, so I have had varying degrees of success with the RFAs. I definitely get some relief, but that usually last a few months. My son had just one and that has brought relief for him for several years. It's a relatively easy procedure done under mild sedation, and it takes about a day before I'm back to normal. I definitely suggest physical therapy, if you are not already doing so. We lose a lot of muscle with SI pain because we just don't exercise as we did or should. This increases SI problems. I hope you have a good pain mgmt doc who can guide you through this process. Good luck and let us know how everything turns out! Sue

REPLY

Read all the studies online. I personally wouldn't do it.

REPLY
@ashby1947

Yes, I have had RFAs for SI joint many times. I have pretty severe lumbar issues, so I have had varying degrees of success with the RFAs. I definitely get some relief, but that usually last a few months. My son had just one and that has brought relief for him for several years. It's a relatively easy procedure done under mild sedation, and it takes about a day before I'm back to normal. I definitely suggest physical therapy, if you are not already doing so. We lose a lot of muscle with SI pain because we just don't exercise as we did or should. This increases SI problems. I hope you have a good pain mgmt doc who can guide you through this process. Good luck and let us know how everything turns out! Sue

Jump to this post

Thanks Sue, appreciate this. Did P.T. for over 3 months, and always exercised due to spinal injury as a child. Knew I had to … to maintain

This SI is new injury 3 years ago. Changed my whole life.

I am hearing very different views. Trying to hear from people who actually went thru it.

Do you know the difference between the SI joint block v.
Radiofrequency ablation. I'm still confused.

Plate is so full and overwhelmed. Thanks Sue!

REPLY
@meesh

Thanks Sue, appreciate this. Did P.T. for over 3 months, and always exercised due to spinal injury as a child. Knew I had to … to maintain

This SI is new injury 3 years ago. Changed my whole life.

I am hearing very different views. Trying to hear from people who actually went thru it.

Do you know the difference between the SI joint block v.
Radiofrequency ablation. I'm still confused.

Plate is so full and overwhelmed. Thanks Sue!

Jump to this post

Can you privately send text/email, Sue?

We have similarities.

Thank you

REPLY
@meesh

Thanks Sue, appreciate this. Did P.T. for over 3 months, and always exercised due to spinal injury as a child. Knew I had to … to maintain

This SI is new injury 3 years ago. Changed my whole life.

I am hearing very different views. Trying to hear from people who actually went thru it.

Do you know the difference between the SI joint block v.
Radiofrequency ablation. I'm still confused.

Plate is so full and overwhelmed. Thanks Sue!

Jump to this post

As I understand, a lumbar medial branch block is more diagnostic than therapeutic. Depending upon what the doc finds from the block will determine the next tx – often the RFA. I've had the branch block and it did provide a little bit of relief, but not for long. If you're on Medicare, you have to take that into consideration also. They will pay for RFA only @ 6 months. I have often had facet joint injection between RFAs. So much depends upon what your dx is and what the level of deterioration is. Do you feel like your pain mgmt physician is good and also taking time to explain things to you? Most important. I hope today is a good day for you! Sue

REPLY

Honestly, I'm very affected by the last injury because of the pain. I've experienced pain since my late teens from a severe spine injury at 12. Scoliosis is bad, upper back and neck pain was maintained with P.T. Daily faithfully. But mom's day 2020, someone scared me from behind in ocean, I was floating on stomach, came up scared, and wave took me. It's been crazy and heavy pain, mostly now in hip, lumbar. It breaks my heart cause I have a daughter now 29, almost 30, who has autism and still needs to be bathed, etc. I can't tell you how hard it's been. I don't know if I'm going through with RFA.

Hearing some who is worse now, don't know, and don't have anyone to talk to about it.

I got, get upset in Dr office so he probably gets frustrated with me.

Life experiences have been challenging for very long. I know it is temporary, just a physical experience.

REPLY
@keona619

Read all the studies online. I personally wouldn't do it.

Jump to this post

Keona619, do you know someone who was worse off after RFA procedure ? Or is it just an intuitive feeling ?

Thank you very much

REPLY

Have you considered seeking some psychological help with all the weight you have on your shoulders you sound stressed? This can be done via telephone or video but find someone to talk to. My 2 cents would be if I exhausted all other avenues of treatment I’d go for it. I don’t work from the standpoint of expecting a complication, I expect it to work. Absolutely speak with your doctor before you get it to suss out your questions and concerns.

REPLY

Hello @meesh, welcome. You have quite a story. I'm sorry you've been dealing with scoliosis since age 12. And then the ocean accident on top of helping your daughter. It must be challenging for you to manage your needs plus hers.

Although we don't share the same diagnosis, I've been in a similar place as you – wondering, somewhat fearful and stressed over the next "possibly hopeful" procedure, and willing to try most anything. Sue, @ashby1947, gives spot on info about diagnostic branch blocks, and RFA's with any luck being a longer lasting band-aid. I received both occipital and cervical RFA's and did feel some relief, but not lasting. I tried for 2 years. Every 6 months because of insurance rules. Inevitably, I realized RFA's were causing me more pain overall, due to central sensitization, and stopped. Some people may get enough relief to keep going back routinely, some have great luck and the procedure lasts a year or more. Tough call, very individualized.

I 100% understand what it's like to have responsibilities and just want to be able to move and manage. We try everything with hopefulness. And @jenatsky is so right about positive mindset going in to your procedure. At the end of the day, what is trying it worth to you?

More importantly though, how are you currently managing your stress? Stress is like pouring gasoline on the fire, it ignites pain. Are you working with a pain management team, psychologist or cognitive behavioral therapist to help you as a whole?

REPLY

Yes I had a radio frequency ablation of my SI joint on the right side about six years ago. It went very well I did have some kind of tingling and burning in that fight it was mild for about a month and then it went away. I’m having a science sections on the 19th and will probably do the same thing on the left.
Good luck and keep us posted on how you do! Happy New Year.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.