Is a radiofrequency nerve block a good idea?

Lorette - lorette.1@hotmail.com

Posted 2008-03-16

I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who is suffering out there I found this site today by chance so I'm really pleased to see I'm not alone in my suffering.

My name is Lorette & was a very fit 38 year old until I fell down the stairs at home on 19th May last year. I was taken to A&E, had an x-ray and was told I had fractured my tailbone, I was then sent home with some pain killers and anti inflammatory tablets. Two weeks after my tablets had run out I had to go to my local GP for another prescription and had to explain what had happened, after his examination not only did I have a fractured tailbone I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure which I never had prior to my fall and a water infection.

Lucky for me I've got private health care and asked my GP to refer me to see a specialist for my back and my blood pressure, about 7 weeks after my fall I had an MRI scan which showed up a further fracture and a break which was not spotted under the x-ray I had. My break was at the top of my back just below my shoulder blade and my other fracture was the bone just above my coccyx. I was also having loads of other tests for my blood pressure, I even consulted a homeopath to try and bring it under control but unfortunately I am now on medication and it is slowly coming down.

I have had physio, ultrasound and hydrotherapy which has helped my upper back and am pleased to say that is now all ok, but it's my lower back, my coccyx that is still the problem. I can't sit without my doughnut ring, stand or walk for too long without being in pain, I've had two cortisone injections but unfortunately both have had little effect and I am still in pain.

As it is now over ten months my consultant suggested I see a pain consultant and he has suggested as a last resort a procedure called Sacro-coccygeal Radio Frequency. I am very unsure to go ahead with this as he told me it's only a 60% success rate, it can leave me with areas of numbness and it's extremely painful as you are awake throughout the hour it takes to burn around the nerve endings, plus the pain can come back after about 8-9 months. Has anybody else experienced this treatment? or have any other suggestions of alternative treatments I may try.

I have been off work since my accident and am basically living like a hermit, I'm hardly going out as this causes me pain, I want my life back!! Please, please if anyone has any information or suggestions to help me recover I would love to hear from you. Good luck to all of you

Note - see also other people's experience of nerve blocks here

Update, 2008-03-30

Hi again,

I have decided not to go ahead with the Radio Frequency procedure and have found a wonderful doctor instead who can help me. After reading a few fellow sufferer's reviews, many had been treated by a doctor, a chiropractor, named Dr Michael Durtnall based in Kensington (see Doctors and specialists in the UK).

I made an appointment and went to see him Wednesday this week, I was in total shock when he told me what was wrong with my back, apart from having the 3 fractures that I already knew of, part of my tailbone is out of alignment with the rest of it, my pelvis is twisted and the right side of it is 8 mm higher than the left side and my pelvic joints are totally fixed, my spine is starting to curve and if not treated I will end up with arthritis within 5 years time, this is all through falling down the stairs at home.

I could have burst into tears as I was not expecting to be told any of that but on the bright side I found this Dr through this website and I can be treated, even if it's going to be a long and slow process, my treatment starts next week, starting with an internal manipulation of my tailbone, does not sound pleasant but many of you have already gone through this so I can too.

There is a light a the end of the tunnel, even though it seems a long way off. I'll update you on my progress but if anyone wishes to contact me, please do.

Take care

Lorette

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