Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: adelaide, australia
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I have had rhizotomys at 6 points in my lower spine, 3 each side but I had it for different reasons. Even if I had it done for the same reasons as you the results would be totally different anyway, spinal conditions are funny like that.
I had Spndylolisthesis at L5-S1, that's a slip in the vetebrae that lead to instability in the spine, disc degeneration and breaking my facet joints. I had many procedures done to me over 2 years before having spinal fusion surgery 14 months ago. One of those procedures was the rhyzotomy.
My experience with rhizo was not a good one. It's done in 2 stages, the first was lying on my stomach while the surgeon needs to find your nerves on live xray with large probes in needles and you need to be awake while he asks what your feeling and may manipulate nerves to get a reaction from you, it's part of finding the right spot for the actual rhizo to be done then you'll get an anesthetic at the facet nerve. It was very painful.
A week later he will chat with you about weather the anesthetic had any effect on your nerves and weather it reduced your pain. I had only half a day "the day after" of pain reduction, biased on that we did the second procedure and actual rhizo another week later. The surgeon knows the location now so you will be put asleep for this and probably stay in hospital overnight on some nice drugs then leave the next day.
You will need someone to pick you up to go home and you will feel discomfort but not so much pain the day after.
I think from memory I felt better for 3 days but I think that was from swelling in the area deadening the pain then it was the the same as before the procedures, so it didn't work for me but my problems were much more than just facet joints.
I did have cortisone injuctions into the facet joints months earlier than the rhizo, that was the worst pain ever. They tried to put the needle into an inflamed gap that wasn't there and it was murder for me.
What has helped was the spinal fusion but I'm only feeling mild benefits to the facets 14 months later, it's taken that long for the inflamation to start subsiding and there's a way to go still.
Now that my vertebrae are realigned and my spine is stable it is taking so long for my body to heal and I still cant hold a bent forward position for even a minute without pain among many other problems but don't regret fusion surgery one bit, it just had to happen!! You shouldn't be put off by my experience with rhizo though you need to do your own research and decide if it's for you, it wont kill you or damage you and might work.
2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.