Go Back   ISPINE.ORG Forum > Main forums > iSpine
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

iSpine Discuss Just got home from RF Ablation (L2-L5) in the Main forums forums; Background: 52 years old. Active. Highschool and college wrestling in the old days. Pick-up sports, hang gliding, mountain biking, ...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-17-2012, 08:17 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default Just got home from RF Ablation (L2-L5)

Background: 52 years old. Active. Highschool and college wrestling in the old days. Pick-up sports, hang gliding, mountain biking, off-road dirt bike racing currently.

Symptoms first surfaced in highschool. Treatment was one vibro massage before a wrestling match. No other problems until inter-mural flag football at Ohio State (got speared in the back). Fairly rare episodic flare-ups from age 22 to about age 25 when hang gliding started. Began seeing chiropractor from time to time which helped nicely.

Over time, the episodes became more frequent. Perhaps two or three per year. lasting a week or two. Seemed to be driven by over-use. Rest, ice, chiro, stretching did the trick.

Severe lock-up for four months in 1998, followed by another battle six month later. Went to ER for demerol (I hate being medicated). It took me three years to get my back stable and to figure out how much and what types of exercise I could tolerate.

Did well in the early 2000s, but later in the decade the episodes became more frequent, but never as acute as in 1998. This past summer had me over-using my back moving furniture, working in the garage. Four months of muscle tension spiral.

Three weeks ago my chiropractor suggested RFA. I did nerve block #1 with good success. With nerve block #2, I decided to test it. I went straight to Thunderbird Park in north Phoenix and hiked the 600 foot hill at a rapid pace -- pulse at 160 BPM. Then I hopped on my mountain bike for a short street ride (bending over the bars is the key factor). I got a flat so I had to walk home 2 miles in my clippy shoes. When the lidocaine wore off, no pain. My muscles were relaxed, and I had zero pain for three days (until I decided to sling a 50-pound bag of grass seed over my shoulder). The next day I did 20 miles of dirt bike riding.

I entered the clinic with near zero pain. Some muscle tightness. Not bad.

They hooked me up and gave me the propofol (Milk of Amnesia) with a fentanyl chaser. I was completely out (or I have no memory of the procedure). Next thing I knew the 15-minute procedure was over and they were telling me to roll over. Then I dozed off again.

I awoke for good in the recovery area. Just slightly foggy. I dressed, chatted up, and headed home with my Designated Driver.

The "pain" I feel (now about 90-minutes after the procedure) is more of a pressure. Sort of like a pulled muscle, maybe. I'm waiting for the lidocaine to fully wear off to see what I'll have to deal with for the next three days. No plan for prescription pain meds. Just ice. Maybe some ibuprofen.

I have a dirt bike race this Sunday. It would be nice to putt-putt around the course in sub-race speed. Yeah, I know they said "no exercise" for two weeks.

Last edited by AZRickD; 10-17-2012 at 08:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2012, 02:53 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

Morning of Day 2.

After having an ice pack as my constant companion (even while sleeping) the sensation of post-op pressure is gone. I took two ibuprofens before bed just for the heck of it. I can barely feel the injection site. I wasn't expecting this fast rate of healing.

I'll test my back gradually. No need to rush it.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2012, 05:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sierra Madre, California
Posts: 904
Default

Hi and Welcome to the forum.
Sounds like you are doing pretty well. Also sounds like a younger me when i would not completely follow doctors orders and did a lot more than i should have. Just be careful. I have learned my lesson now.
Judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:35 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

After a day of office sitting with random walks about the office, I'm ready to go home and stretch on the inversion table. A little bit of muscle tension on the right side.

So far, so good.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-19-2012, 01:43 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default procedure n recovery

Sounds great so don't screw it up with overdoing too soon. Otherwise wishing you continued good recovery!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2012, 10:36 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I completed a 2-hour 30-mile offroad dirtbike race. Nothing too challenging in the course.

My back handled it well. After the race it stiffened up a bit. Ice and rest as usual. The lack of tightness on the right (the usual side) revealed tightness on the left. This might help me decided to buzz the left side as well.

Feeling pretty good today. More arm fatigue than anything else.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2012, 01:16 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default recovery

Yep sounds like you've recovered! Stay well~
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-24-2012, 06:54 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I spent Monday evening out in the garage changing two tires on the dirt bike. Hunched over and fighting with tire spoons for all of that time is a major test. I stood up all crooked and had to hang on the inversion table for a minute to get everything stretched out. Ice, of course.

The procedure made my back better, but it didn't make it perfect.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2012, 06:58 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I completed an 8-hour, 140-mile dual sport ride on Saturday in Payson, Arizona. Mostly forest two-track and some highway to connect trail.

I was very tired (calf muscles, mostly). Afterward, I loaded up the bike and trucked it back to Phoenix. I little "spa treatment," ibuprofen, ice, and some sleep got it mostly fixed up. Then up the next morning for a short, casual ride in the desert. More spa treatment after that as well.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2012, 07:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sierra Madre, California
Posts: 904
Default

Sounds like you are doing great. Glad to hear that
Judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-31-2012, 10:20 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I have scheduled the left side for next week.

I have a 450-mile dual sport ride on tap for the following weekend.

Participation in that event might not be wise for me, with or without this procedure. That's a lot of banging around and standing on the pegs (calf muscles).
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2012, 05:57 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Loundoun County, VA
Posts: 4
Default Great Results With RF-Ablation

I had bilateral rf-ablation done on 7 levels (cervical 4 & lumbar 3) and it has significantly reduced my pain. I take much less pain meds and the severe muscles spasms have gone away.

Very nice with the inversion table! I don't think that I can use one due to lumbar surgery, but I have an excellent cervical traction device that my pm prescribed.

Thelma
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2012, 04:45 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

Yeah -- cervical spine traction is nice every once in a while.

I had to reschedule the left side because of a doc conflict.

Rescheduled for the day before Thanksgiving.

I didn't do the 450-mile dualsport ride. I was doing so much riding that I really needed a rest my entire body -- not just my back -- (and to wrench on the bikes).
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2012, 05:33 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,510
Default

Thanks Rick!!! I may be having nerve ablations in the coming weeks... it's great to hear some positive stories! What pain clinic are you going to?

Mark
__________________
1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:38 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I am going to the one associated with Arrowhead Health on 59th Avenue south of Bell Road in Glendale, Arizona.

I just got this morning back from doing my left side. I went straight to the ice pack. I don't think they used as much lidocaine this time around because I feel more "pressure" in the injection sites.

I'll try to go without ibuprofen for the day to see how it goes.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:43 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

To report ont the right side that they did a few weeks ago -- Four sites were zapped.

I think that three of the four have taken quite well. So well that I am no noticing a bit of sacral involvement that was masked before.

There is a third nerve that still gets jazzed a bit when I bend the wrong way under load. The disc bulges, touches the nerve and I feel my muscle contract. But it uncontracts fairly quickly. The doc says I should give it a few more weeks to see if the treatment to that particular nerve takes.

Hmmm. I sure am feeling my left side treatment now.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2012, 09:11 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sierra Madre, California
Posts: 904
Default

I hope the pain you are feeling now is gone quickly. Try some of that ibuprofen !
Judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2012, 12:31 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

The pain (pressure, really) from the procedure was gone by evening.

The hang over from propofol is still with me. Didn't happen last time or during my upper and lower GI probes.

Everything else is dandy.
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:43 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I'm still hanging in there. I have to be careful, but things are much improved.

Working on my dirt bike is risky for my back. It gets stiff. Riding the bike is less a problem. A day of rest is usually all I need to recover, rather than a week or two, previously.
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2013, 04:45 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

Sometime around mid-March I started to have a little bit of back tightness. It was a pretty dirtbike-race heavy few weeks. The tightness went away, but more slowly.

In April I started to experience some morning stiffness that I would have to stretch out. Now in May, after last Saturday's 113-mile dualsport ride around Sedona, I'm on Day 4 and still have some moderate muscle tightness (you might call it spasm).

So, it seems like the effects of the procedure are on the down-side of wearing off. I'll go back to the doc to see if I want to hit it up again or do something else.

Although short-lived, it sure was a nice few months.
Reply With Quote
  #21 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2013, 12:46 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default hmmmm

I've never been anywhere near as active as you and probably never even felt as good as you feel feeling bad!

Hope you stay as good as you are whatever you're doing for treatment!
Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:14 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

We are all just surfers on a bell-shaped curve. Sometimes I go tubular. Sometimes I get a really bad sunburn.

Last week I was on ice, stiff, and listing to starboard.
Last night I did a 16-mile night mountainbike ride.

I had another ablation scheduled for last week but my mandatory driver had to cancel. I haven't rescheduled.
Reply With Quote
  #23 (permalink)  
Old 05-31-2013, 08:42 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default re muscle tightness

Have you just tried an injection of 60mg of Toradol? Sometimes the docs make a cocktail and mix it with a bit of steroid material tho I do well just with the Toradol injectable. It's an Nsaid and even tho it's main action is antiinflammatory it acts very well to alleviate muscle spasms for me so maybe it would help with muscle tightness as well?

You were super active tho so if your bod is a bit beat up that makes sense to me Good luck and hope the "tightness" wears off or you get it ablated off or whatever! Maria
Reply With Quote
  #24 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2013, 02:55 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sierra Madre, California
Posts: 904
Default

I am happy to hear you are still out there able to live life and do the things you want. I think i am going to have one more surgery to get me the best i can be and see what i can do., No more mountain trail running and i miss it dearly. i went into a pool for the first time in a few years today. i used to swim a mile several days a week , today i almost drowned myself!!

Good luck getting a driver for the next ablation.
judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
Reply With Quote
  #25 (permalink)  
Old 06-13-2013, 02:18 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I miss the trail running, too. I can do it, I suppose, but I have relegated myself to the mountain bike. Swimming and pedaling motion is usually very good for my back. Makes it loosey-goosey. A much better activity than doing trail maintenance for the Forest Service two weeks ago. My back spazzed out for three days after that.

I did the right-side ablation yesterday morning. Mild soreness treated with a series of icepacks. So far, so good.

Doing a night mountain bike ride today. It will be sweaty-hot in Phoenix tonight.

Left side is scheduled in two weeks. Doc is scheduled off for next week.
Reply With Quote
  #26 (permalink)  
Old 06-13-2013, 04:05 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sierra Madre, California
Posts: 904
Default

Congrats on getting one side done. That is one procedure i have never had . I was in Phoenix once in the summer, it was very hot. I was there for a convention dealing with the blind, which was my field of study. Hot is all i remember.
I am going to keep trying to swim. I can only do strokes that do not involve head movement. (broken neck) I never even tried mountain biking, i loved running so much and never imagined all this back stuff would happen to me.

I hope this ablation holds up well and you have good luck with the other side as well. Keep moving!!
Judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
Reply With Quote
  #27 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2013, 06:12 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

I did the left-side two weeks ago (on June 26th).

So far, the process is going more standardly. Last October I got fairl immediate relief. The docs and literature said that the relief would be minimal at first and then increase as the sensory nerves slowly shut down.

So, while not perfect, it is manageable. I wake each morning to a short series on the inversion table to get me unkinked from a night of crooked sleep. Then I go on the Spinalator table (purchased used from a closed chiro office). Stretching and/or a MTBike ride. I use ice nearly every day, held in place by either a single elasto-back brace or the addition of my block-n-tackle back brace when I need things to straighten up.

Mountain biking tonight, as the temps in Phoenix will drop to a chilly 94F as the sun sets.
Reply With Quote
  #28 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2013, 06:18 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default Spinalator?

Never heard of that.. does it align the spine?
Reply With Quote
  #29 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2013, 06:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sierra Madre, California
Posts: 904
Default

I never heard of the spinulator table either. I am so out of sagittal alignment that i am having major surgery in Sept to try to fix it. The surgeon said i am fixable to a certain degree. i am so hoping, it would be so nice to walk relatively straight. I am now so hunched over, in pain and very self conscious about it all.

I am happy you are continuing to be so active, that is what my docs tell me to do. I am now hiking a little bit with a goal of reaching my favorite stream before my next surgery.
Ice is great stuff , even greater in the Phoenix cool days of 94!
judy
__________________










2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
Reply With Quote
  #30 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2013, 03:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default spinalator table

Ok I googled it. So please tell what it does for you. I've never been to a chiropractor before although I utilized services of osteopathic doctors before with various manipulations and stretches and some low intensity type of treatment. One older osteopathic doc I saw several times had a table that did some of the work for him instead of him actually doing the lifting of limbs and such.

I could watch the video clips on youtube but I'd rather know what it does for you if you have the time and inclination to explain. Thanks, Maria
Reply With Quote
  #31 (permalink)  
Old 10-21-2013, 11:27 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

After nearly two and a half months of nada, a couple of weeks ago my back started behaving itself. I still have to stretch, hang upside down, use the back brace quite a bit (and ice).

Here is the company that makes the back brace I use

Back Brace and Neck Brace Supports for Neck and Back Pain Problems

I also use a stretchy elastic one as well. I use both when dirt biking. Keeps everything straight, and seems to relieve some downard forces as the brace squishes me upward.

Spinalator table: Spinalator

The Spinalator (or roller table) is essentially a massage for the spine. Too expensive unless you get a deal on ebay/craigslist.

Inversion table: Walmart.com: Sports & Outdoors: Exercise Machines: Inversion Tables

I begin (and end) each day with a twenty-second stretch on the inversion table. Some like to hang for many minutes. I don't see the need for me.
Reply With Quote
  #32 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2013, 07:52 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default thanks

For the links.. I've been wondering about an inversion table off and on. The braces look really good and I've never seen anything like that before. Spinulator too expensive for me..

Glad to read your back has improved! Hope it stays that way.. have you tried Toradol injections for muscle spasms? They help me greatly (and immediately) when I spasm into what can last weeks without an injection either for my neck or low back. I get 60-90mg IM. Some docs mix it with some steroid too though I prefer just the Toradol. Got to have good kidney function for this medication though can get an injection anywhere like Urgent Care, PCP's office, PM. It's a non steroidal anti-inflammatory med.

take care~ Maria
Reply With Quote
  #33 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2014, 10:39 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

No drugs, to speak of. If I spazz out, I use ice. Then I invert and stretch.

In mid December my back started to lock up again. It stayed that way until mid January, and now it is fine again (with my usual routine).

Puzzling.
Reply With Quote
  #34 (permalink)  
Old 08-16-2014, 10:03 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

Six months since my last post.

I'm doing pretty well. I can still over-due it. When I get the slightest hint of fatigue or nerve involvement, on goes the ice treatments. A little elasto back brace, and some inversion table. Lifting things out-of-square is a trigger.

Ice-Ice-Ice.
Reply With Quote
  #35 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2016, 05:17 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Send a message via AIM to michelesmarty Send a message via MSN to michelesmarty
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZRickD View Post
After nearly two and a half months of nada, a couple of weeks ago my back started behaving itself. I still have to stretch, hang upside down, use the back brace quite a bit (and ice).

Here is the company that makes the back brace I use

Back Brace and Neck Brace Supports for Neck and Back Pain Problems

I also use a stretchy elastic one as well. I use both when dirt biking. Keeps everything straight, and seems to relieve some downard forces as the brace squishes me upward.

Spinalator table: Spinalator

The Spinalator (or roller table) is essentially a massage for the spine. Too expensive unless you get a deal on ebay/craigslist.

Inversion table: Walmart.com: Sports & Outdoors: Exercise Machines: Inversion Tables

I begin (and end) each day with a twenty-second stretch on the inversion table. Some like to hang for many minutes. I don't see the need for me.
Is this the best inversion table available on Walmart? Or there is any other store available to buy best one?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.