Radiofrequency Ablation for SI joint pain

Posted by ashby1947 @ashby1947, Feb 26 8:00am

Hello! Has anyone had radiofrequency ablation for SI joint back problems/pain? I've had 3 SI joint and facet injections in the past few months, and they just don't last to alleviate the pain. So, I'm scheduled for the ablation. I would appreciate hearing about any experiences you have had with the RF ablation: what was the recovery time; how soon did you feel relief; how long the procedure lasted; and, anything else you would care to share. I'm a 73 yo woman, lean and healthy. Unfortunately, the progression of my osteoarthritis and stenosis have resulted in functional impairment. I don't ever expect to do much gardening again; however, I would like to get back to walking and other exercises.

I look forward to hearing of your experiences! Thank you, Sue

Hi Sue! I'm having my second lower back ablation on Tuesday. It took about 30 minutes and recovery was about a day. I had one in September that got me through a knee replacement surgery and the holidays before the pain returned. The procedure isn't very painful (I wasn't offered sedation) and the effects were good for those few months. I waited too long to schedule my upcoming procedure and have been in serious pain since the first of the year! I'm going to reschedule number 3 way before I start having pain as it takes so long to get an appointment with my pain doc. My only advice is to stay ahead of the pain! I hope the ablation works well for you. I have back pain that is absolutely crippling, so I'm grateful for it. Best wishes!

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@babette

Hi Sue! I'm having my second lower back ablation on Tuesday. It took about 30 minutes and recovery was about a day. I had one in September that got me through a knee replacement surgery and the holidays before the pain returned. The procedure isn't very painful (I wasn't offered sedation) and the effects were good for those few months. I waited too long to schedule my upcoming procedure and have been in serious pain since the first of the year! I'm going to reschedule number 3 way before I start having pain as it takes so long to get an appointment with my pain doc. My only advice is to stay ahead of the pain! I hope the ablation works well for you. I have back pain that is absolutely crippling, so I'm grateful for it. Best wishes!

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Hi Babette – Thank you for your reply. I hope your ablation goes well. My first one is scheduled for 2/12 and I am expecting good results. You're right about keeping ahead of the pain, and I guess I'll keep trying things as long as they work! I have a great physical therapist who will assist. Unfortunately, I have lost so much muscle mass, especially in the gluts, I'm afraid it will take some time to build that back. Good luck with your procedure on Tuesday. Please let me know how it goes! Best Wishes, Sue

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Hello,
I have not had ablation to the SI area but did have for issues follow a knee replacement. Unfortunately for me, I didn't have much help but I have talked to other that have. So that tell me that my knee issue is not related to nerve but some other cause, which I am still investigating.
Regarding your atrophy of the glute muscle- do you have a PT or personal trainer to guide you? It is so important to get this strength back as the hips, glute, and back/abdominals (core) are all key to take the load (rather than the SI). It does take time but you need to do much more advanced strengthening and push weights. You can't do this with simple body weight exercises like squats- but need to be in a leg press machine with gradual increase in loads. A PT or trainer should be able to guide you better in person. I am a PT (and yes…I am very compliant with my routine) but still struggle with my knee and atrophy in my thigh. I am working with a trainer myself to help push me. Please feel free to ask any questions.

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Yes, I've had a few they stopped helping me after the third one. Then I started with s I joint shots and they worked the first time and the second and third were not helpful, Monday I had a spine injection kinda like a epidural so far no good. I have a date to have hardware removed in May.

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