|Radiofrequency nerve ablation being performed|
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First off, what is radiofrequency nerve ablation? This process is a minimally-invasive procedure that is done either under local anesthesia or with the patient under general anesthesia (I will be under general anesthesia) and takes about 45 minutes per joint to complete (I am having 2 joints completed, which will be a 1 1/2 hour long procedure). The anesthesiologist (performing the procedure) locates the location of the nerves in the particular joint causing the pain and places a Teflon-coated catheter needle in each of the locations of the nerves. For the sacroiliac joint, there are only 3 nerves on each side that typically cause the pain. Therefore, 6 (total) Teflon-coated needles will be inserted. These remain throughout the entire procedure. The radiofrequency device helps the anesthesiologist verify the accuracy of the needle location. After medications, steroids and local anesthetics are injected into the nerve, the tip of the nerve is then burned (using the radiofrequency device) to keep pain signals from reaching the brain (ideally).
I have been praying that this will give me some, if not much relief from the severe pain that is so difficult to cope with, despite attempting other means of "pain management" unsuccessfully. This is also the last step of intervention before I see the surgeon next Wednesday, and before I possibly (and prayerfully) have surgery on these joints.
There will be a time frame post-op that I need to rest (stay off my feet) and that my pain levels will be higher than normal due to the aggravation of the joints & spine. Please also keep me in your prayers as I try to keep a house running with 2 toddler boys and a full time working hubby.
I will try to update you all as soon as possible following the procedure. Thank you to all of those who have faithfully been praying and encouraging Rence and I. Thank you, also to my driver Felicia Waugh and Rebecca Owens, who will be keeping the boys tomorrow. I feel so blessed to have such immediate access to great healthcare where I live. God is so good...ALL the time! :)