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My 87 year old father has been receiving various treatments…

My 87 year old father...
My 87 year old father has been receiving various treatments over the past several months for chronic headaches he developed following a minor car accident.His most recent treatment was a Medial Branch Block, which unfortunately did not provide much relief.The next procedure being suggested for him is a Pulsed Radiofrequency Neurotomy. He is hesitant to do this procedure until he has more information.
Is there anything you can tell us, such as the effectiveness, etc.thank you.
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
3/6/2018
Dr. Shah
Dr. Shah, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 4,765
Experience: Years of experience in patients management.
Verified

Hi, This is Dr. Shah and am reviewing your question now.

It is an outpatient procedure and patient can go home same day. It is relatively very safe procedure and the most common side effects are temporary pain and numbness at the sire of procedure. The treatment response and effectiveness varies from person to person.

Please leave a positive rating by clicking stars on your screen so that I can get the credit for my time with you. If you have any follow-up question,you can reply to this post.

Regards,

Dr. Shah

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
that really doesn't tell me much more than I can find online.

Do you have any specific question? If you want, I can give you the details of the trials conducted for this procedure. Alternatively, I can send it to the customer service to process your request.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
it would be good to know why the medial branch block didn't work, and how the neurotomy is different, and why he should expect it to work if nothing else has.

Please wait, I am going to opt out and send your question to neurology expert. They would be the best person to assist you with your questions and concern.

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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 12,710
Experience: Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
Verified

Hello -

The medial branch block -- did they do it in his neck (cervical spine)?

If so, do you know what levels in the neck were done (e.g. C2 C3? C4,5,6,7?)

And did he get any relief -- even for 24 hours, a week, etc, after the medial branch block? Or was it zero relief, not even for a few hours?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I will find out from him and will write back - thanks.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
the medial branch block was done in his neck - C2, C3, C4 and C5.
he did receive relief but only for the rest of the day. he says now if feels like nothing has been done at all.

OK.

The fact that he did receive some relief -- even short lived -- is telling his doctor that the nerve inflammation is in that area.

The medial branch block is not intended to give long term relief. It is intended to help diagnosis the source of the pain. So if he had temporary improvement in the pain, then he would be a good candidate for the more "permanent" procedure -- the rhizotomy.

The rhizotomy (neurotomy) procedure will "burn" the nerves over the arthritic joints in the neck, and help to reduce the pain in the neck from arthritis inflammation. Typically people will feel longer term relief (for months, and even up to 18 months).

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Dr Mark
So he ended up having the procedure today and said the doctor explained exactly what you did, so thanks for the information.
He did say is was not pleasant at all. He’s 87 so he’s not a young guy, but he’s going to go back and have “the other side” done in 2 weeks.
Let’s hope it works!
Thanks again for your help.

Excellent -

Just to warn you -- it is quite common that right after the procedure people have more pain (because of inflammation from the actual "burning" procedure). Typically people can expect that this pain will be worse for a couple of weeks after the procedure, then calm down and be better overall.

Best of luck to your father.

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 12,710
Experience: Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
Verified
Dr. Mark and 87 other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for letting me know, and for your help.
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