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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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My stepfather had a procedure called "nerve burning" done a

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My stepfather had a procedure called "nerve burning" done a week ago. Upon inquiring when the pain would stop he was told that it might take 3-4 weeks. I this true or is it possible that the nerve burning did or will not help at all?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 years ago.
Can you describe exactly what he had to treat what kind of problem?

Was it an injection into the neck of steroids, or was it for facial pain?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Mark's Post: compression fracture of 4th (or 5th ?) lumbar.
He had 2 previous steroid injections, which abated the pain for 3-4 days.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 years ago.
Do you know if the procedure was called kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty, where they inject "cement" into the bones to help stabilize the bones?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Mark's Post: Cement could not be used because of a protrusion into spinal chord area.   Thus, this solution was not possible.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 years ago.
The only other procedure I can think of right now similar to "nerve burning" is dorsal root rhizotomy, where they actually cut the fibers that transmit pain from the back near the spinal cord.

Is this possibly what you mean by "nerve burning"?

However, that is not typically a procedure they would perform from pain due to a compression fracture in the back. And it would usually have near immediate relief of pain in that area.

Can you get a little more information about the name of the actual procedure so that we can help?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The procedure itself was as quick as and just like the steroid shot, lasting not much more than 15 minutes. Some method (flouroscopy?) was also used to guide the needle to the right nerve. However the preparation and recovery procedure altogether took about 2 hours.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 years ago.
You're describing something like a selected nerve root block, where they target a specific nerve and try to reduce the pain signals going through the nerve.

Typically, those results would be quick to notice, and pain relief should have been there (if it were effective) right after the test.

Considering he appears to still have considerable pain after all these procedures, it may be wise to have him evaluated by a neurosurgeon, especially if the compression fracture has a "piece" of it in the spinal canal as you describe, because the pain can be coming from "stenosis" due to that piece of bone in the spinal canal.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Mark's Post: One more piece of information is that the pain also occasionally travels to the right hip and right knee, where it is just as uncomfortable as in the back.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 years ago.
Ah, the right hip and the right knee are signs of compression of the right L4 nerve, which would make sense with a compression fracture of the L4 vertebral body.

Given this, an evaluation by a neurosurgeon may be very helpful, since it seems the pain is directly related to the compression fracture and the piece that is in the spinal canal, and that given the other therapies have not worked, that surgical decompression can be evaluated as an option.
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