Rhizotomy: How to prepare physically and mentally?

Posted by heatherm @heatherm, Aug 15 1:16pm

My symptoms and MRI show both a disk bulge and another disk degeneration that have caused increasing nerve pain mainly down one leg over about 3 years. injections in the past have not helped, and consistent physio, exercise, and medication are the only things that have really kept me mobile. Symptoms are intensifying and I have waited 9 months (Canadian medical system) to finally be scheduled for a Rhizotomy. The initial test for this, which I received over 9 months ago was incredibly painful, and I’m experiencing some worry and anxiety about this rhizotomy. I will advocate for myself as much as possible with the medical people, but I’m looking for suggestions on how to prepare physically and mentally for this (3 days away). What are other people’s experience with this?

Hello, I'm reading you reside in Canada, as do I. Are you in Ontario, by any chance. I've read recently re Rhizotomy, and wondered whether positive results, or temporary. Wish you well if you don't see this post before procedure occurs.

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@katie215

Hello, I'm reading you reside in Canada, as do I. Are you in Ontario, by any chance. I've read recently re Rhizotomy, and wondered whether positive results, or temporary. Wish you well if you don't see this post before procedure occurs.

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Thanks for your response and good wishes.
I reside in Saskatchewan. My research tells me rhizotomies are not effective for everyone and they can last from 3 months to a year or so. I'm feeling it is yet another attempt to try a treatment that will stave off surgery (which I'm ok with).

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@heatherm

Thanks for your response and good wishes.
I reside in Saskatchewan. My research tells me rhizotomies are not effective for everyone and they can last from 3 months to a year or so. I'm feeling it is yet another attempt to try a treatment that will stave off surgery (which I'm ok with).

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Hello again. If you are able, please stay close with your results and post op experience.
Yes, yet another attempt….best regards.

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I'd like to also invite @parus into this discussion. Parus did you have a rhizotomy? Can you help answer some of the questions that Katie and Heather have?

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@colleenyoung Thank you for facilitating this connection. Rhyzotomy might be my only hope for help in my situation going forward. Looking forward to hearing from @parus

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Yes I did have the cervical rhyzotomy. It took some time to feel any improvement. This was performed in December as an out patient which I chose to do under a local so I could drive to and from. Yes, it was uncomfortable. The pain specialist dis one side and then the other a month later. The second one took longer to help. I can tell the nerves are starting to rejuvenate so I will be contacting the doctor to see when this procedure can be performed again.
I can say I was pleased with the first round. No guarantees as to whether the next time will be as beneficial.
@colleenyoung I have mostly been MIA due to overload of circumstances. Thankful I stop in from time to time as I usually find some healthy dining. Still a great site.

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@heatherm See that you have had several responses that can help you better than I can. I don't know what a rhyzotomy is, but it's painful I would ask if they would give you some anesthia. (S) Maybe by your symtoms you could have surgery instead. I had a fusion On June 9th and my sciatic is gone and most of the pain. I had a fusion and it was a big surgery, from T-10 to my pelvis. I had degeneration that had caused a scoliosis and my L-4 & L-5 had stenosis. I am still somewhat sore, but do much better. I can't bend, twist or lift anything heavy. The fusion surgery was 9 hours long. I have to walk several times a day and my right buttock is still sore when I walk, but it's really not bad. I had an excellent surgeon at Mayo Clinic at Rochester, MN. I hope this helps. I hate to see anyone in pain. I had an ablation and the first one was very painful, but I had a different doctor for the other side of my spine and it hardly hurt at all. It deadens the nerves, but it only worked for awhile and the pain was back. I did everything I could do not to have surgery. Best Wishes to and take care.

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My rhizotomy on the spine, to relieve leg pain, went much easier than the test. The medical staff was receptive to discussing my previous experience, they were open to my needs, and passed on my concerns to the radiologist. Local anesthetic is given, but anything to totally dull pain isn’t given, because they use my pain response to guide their procedure. I was allowed to use a low dosage pain prescription I carried, in addition to my usual regime. The doctor explained the procedure and his progress. This helped greatly to get me through it- yes there was pain, but I tolerated it well with no anxiety. I felt good the first night, so so the next day, and really tired today. I have some healing to do and I was told not to expect physical results for 3-4 weeks. ( with a 60% success rate). I will post then!

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I pray a lot for help to bare my pains and carryon the best I can with strong pain medication and many supplements.

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Can I ask what is a rhizotomy and what is it supposed to help or cure? I have horrendous “sciatica”!with S1 nerve and am almost totally bedridden from the pain on right side butt hamstring both calves and bottom of both feet. I walk about 15 min a day and then I have to go to bed and cry from pain. Thanks god for my wonderful husband. And thank you for taking the time to share.

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Best to get a professional explanation, but basically, a needle is injected to the nerves in the spine and they are cauterized (with laser?) to cut off the nerve impulses and pain to affected limbs. It is usually temporary as nerves regenerate. In my case, my L5-S1, L4-5, and L3-4 are affected by disk bulges, and/or nerve degeneration. I haven’t been feeling great since the rhizotomy, it I’m hopeful it’ll give me back walking long distances with no pain.

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@bustrbrwn22

Can I ask what is a rhizotomy and what is it supposed to help or cure? I have horrendous “sciatica”!with S1 nerve and am almost totally bedridden from the pain on right side butt hamstring both calves and bottom of both feet. I walk about 15 min a day and then I have to go to bed and cry from pain. Thanks god for my wonderful husband. And thank you for taking the time to share.

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@bustrbrwn22 It sounds like to me that you need a fusion surgery. You should not be walking if it causes that much pain. I had pain similar to yours. Pain in my but and hip, sciatica down my leg and right foot. I had a 9 hour fusion done at Mayo Rochester. I also had stenosis in my L-4 and L5, which my surgeon fixed. My surgeon had to go from T-10 to my pelvis. I'm in a brace now and hardly have any pain. Have some pain when the brace is off. I can take it off when I lay down. It will be only 3 month on Sept. 9th. I walk 1/4 to 1/2 mile in several walks. I am so happy with the results. I had pain when I got home, but feel better now.

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