Hi Dr. Corenman,
I had contacted you a while back regarding C2-3, C3-4 facet pain. I had received some pain relief with my second cortisone injection, though not complete relief, so this tells me that at least some of my pain is facet related.
I am currently considering the ablation procedure and had a few questions for you.
1. I have heard that the C2-3 facet is a more risky area for ablation, and that it doesn’t have as high a success rate due to involvement of the occipital nerve. Do you find this to be true in your experience?
2. I am a PT and given my anatomy training, I am concerned about nerve damage/worsening pain from the ablation. I know this is rare, but can you give me a ballpark idea of how frequently this occurs? I have heard some people get great relief, and others where it seems like a horror story of worsening nerve pain after the ablation.
3. I also have researched pulsed radiofrequency ablation, where the nerves are stunned instead of burned. This seems like a safer option, but not many doctors in Mass. do this and I have also heard people may not get as good pain relief. What are your thoughts?
4. And finally, I have also read that Cat Scans are best for getting a better view of the facets. I have had multiple x-rays and MRI’s which show some degeneration in the facets, but not bad. I was wondering if it would be beneficial to get a Cat Scan to rule out any bone spurs around the facet joints? I just don’t want to expose myself to extra radiation if it’s not necessary since I’ve had so many tests.
If you don’t mind taking a few minutes to answer these questions, I would greatly appreciate it. I just can’t deal with this nerve pain anymore!!