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Bulging disc & facet degeneration

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Hi. I'm new to this forum. I'm a 47-year-old female who's had lower back problems for a couple years now. I've not injured it, that I know of. It's getting worse. I have been diagnosed with (1) a bulging disc, and (2) facet degeneration/arthritis.

I had physical therapy twice, with different therapists. Neither helped.

I've had two epidural steroid injections. Both helped, but only for a couple of weeks. Since then, I've had three facet steroid injections. The first lasted nearly 3 months, which was good. Smile The second lasted only a few days, which was bad. Sad The third I just had yesterday, so I don't know yet, but I pray it lasts longer than the last.

My doctor has done a median nerve block into the offending facet using a temporary anesthetic, as a test to see if I would be a good candidate for what he calls a radio frequency treatment to deaden the nerve endings. I was nearly pain-free for several hours, until the anesthetic wore off, and the doctor told me that means he would recommend the radio frequency treatment. He explained that this would help with the facet problem, not the disc problem. But it seems that most of my pain is due to the facet problem, so that it okay with me. (I'm not sure what can be done about the disc, but that's a topic for another post.)

Does all this sound about right? It sounds like many of you have been down this road before, and I welcome any voices of experience.

From reading posts on this forum, it sounds as if this radio frequency procedure is a delicate procedure and should be done only by a highly skilled specialist. I would like to know how can I find out if my doctor is skilled enough to do so? He is a spine specialist, and I have no reason to have anything but the utmost confidence in him, but there are other spine specialists in my city (El Paso, TX), too. How can I know?

Thanks, all.
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replied May 18th, 2010
Facet pain
I am a DC in Jerusalem. You should find a thereapist, DC or PT who does Spinal Stabiliztion Exercise instruction. I suffered myself from Facet pain for 20+ yrs. and only this helped me. Razitotomy (raido destruction of the nerve is over kill.)

Yitz, DC

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