• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

has anyone had radiofrequency ablation or rhizotomy?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • has anyone had radiofrequency ablation or rhizotomy?

    Has anyone here been "nerved," and then able to successfully ride after?

    I'm a candidate, and want to ask as many people who ride who've done it as I can, and gather more information before I make a decision.

    A year and a half ago, I had a series of two epidural injections on S1 and S2 that lasted almost a year and allowed me to ride first level dressage and trail ride without pain. Really, I should have gone back after six months, but I didn't want to.

    This past January (2013), I had another series of two. My mid-April, my symptoms had returned and I ended up unable to ride for a few weeks at all, scratched a horse show, etc.

    Went back to my pain specialist, and we discussed the arthritis on my facet joints, especially on my right side. And so a week ago, they did a bilateral lumbar medial branch block -- which is still working a week later, and which immediately allowed me to be active, stand up bearing weight on both feet, and RIDE.

    The next step, according to them, is ablation. I have had back pain ranging from moderate to severe for about 12 years now... It took me 10 years to go get the epidural I probably should have had in the first place. I've been in and out of physical therapy for a decade, yadda yadda. I had a discussion with myself recently and told myself I'm going to stop attempting to ride dressage tests anymore (or for the foreseeable "anymore," at least). Small figures and turns hurt me the most, and I think schooling tests for the past month trying to get ready for the show I ended up scratching did me in more than anything.

    My facet joints are my biggest problem. They're arthritic and angry. The discs are slightly bulging but not bad. The epidurals have taken care of most of the sciatic type of pain but not the facet joint pain/stiffness.

    My husband works at a hospital and knows really good specialists who could perform the RA, and those who specialize in rhizotomy (although that's not covered by insurance).

    If you're an active rider, or active person in general, have you had this done? And what was the outcome? Was it worth it? What kind of recovery period was there? How long did it last for you?

    Thank you for any insight.

    Spines and all their associated parts are overrated.
    Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
    Visit him on Facebook:

  • #2
    I have no experience with that but I wish you well! Hope they can get you out of pain and back in the saddle. I am off for months because of thoracic back surgery. Ugh. So ready to get out to the barn and see my horses. my feet are still super numb but my balance is better thank God!
    Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


    • #3
      Yes, it gave me my life back as I knew it before. I do regenerate nerves and so have had it done a couple of times now. Worth it each time. I could never have taken care of horses without it, much less ridden. PM me if you want more details. Oh, and I was fully recovered within 48 hours, and that was only because my body doesn't process conscious sedation well.
      Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay


      • #4
        I had one and it did not do anything. There really was no recovery period though. My test nerve block lasted six days, they said anything over six hours is considered a positive response so we were all surprised when it had no effect at all. They said they could have gotten it not in the exact right spot and were thinking of repeating it but opted for the epidural instead. That lasted six glorious weeks but the follow up epidural didn't help at all. I guess the next step is a spinal stimulator implant which I am hesitant to do. I am far from an expert but it seems to me that your good responses to the block is a good sign. Best of luck.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          Yes, for my left SI joint. Had it done in 2011 and I think it is still holding. The nerves are probably regenerating as I sometimes get a twinge, but my most recent treatment was a pair of epidural injections for my discs.

          if my pain mgmt specialist recommends it again, I would follow her recommendation. She is fabulous and has kept my back sound for riding since 2008.


          • #6
            Have had it on my S/I (a year ago, and just got one side done again, will have the other side done next week), and have had it done twice on my lumbar facets. I have lumbar DJD, and a bulging disk (and DJD) at L5/S1.

            It did help, but the "law of diminishing returns" came into play; even though my S/I was NUMB--along with my buttocks--there was still some residual pain. The numbness was a small price to pay for *any* pain relief, however!

            I have been through PT (which has helped!), and the bottom line is that my lumbar spine is jammed and immobile, while my S/I is unstable (and hyper-mobile), so the RX has been lumbar mobilizations and LOTS of deep core strengthening exercises, isolating the rectus abdominus. Apparently this is a common problem with riders I have been riding minimally, though teaching and handling horses as usual; there is *always* some pain, and I try to engage my core muscles when lifting--and avoid heavy lifting whenever possible!

            The "recovery" from the RFA (which is an uncomfortable procedure, but bearable) is a day or so; I sat on a soft ice pack and took some pain meds, but have gone to work within several hours of getting it done (though this didn't involve riding or heavy lifting.

            I think "YMMV", and some people get great results, while others get "meh" results. My results were somewhat in the middle, though the second round of RF for my lumbar facets wasn't as effective (WRT pain relief) as the first round.

            It sounds like you are an ideal candidate for this, so if insurance covers it...?

            I think all of us with chronic back pain are pretty much willing to sell our souls to the devil in exchange for ANY help with our pain--and any hope for improved function! (In my case, I was told that PRP would help me, but of course it's not covered by insurance--and I don't have the $3,300 for the 3 treatments--so off the table it goes. :-/)
            "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

            "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


            • Original Poster

              Thanks, you guys... this is all helpful information. I think I *know* this is the next logical step for me, but sometimes it's hard to make yourself take the next step. OTOH, like Dr. Doolittle says, selling my soul doesn't sound like such a bad trade some days!

              My facet nerve block lasted just over a week and still hasn't quite worn off, which is really good as far as the diagnostic goes. Last night was the first night I thought I might not be able to get any sleep from tingling nerve pain, but I did end up sleeping through -- and without the aid of what I jokingly call my vitamin V (vicodin), also no need for Advil.

              Seems odd to me that so many riders have fact joint issues, and I live in an area where so many doctors I've been to SEE so many of us riders, and yet it seems like the last thing they check for. For me, it was almost an afterthought: "Oh! Well, you DO have all this arthritis on your facet joints, especially on your right side..." My doctor had mentioned continued epidurals, too, but I don't like the side effects of the steroids, mostly womanly in nature, for me.

              If I get the RA done (and I probably will) I'll be sure to report back after.
              Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
              Visit him on Facebook:


              • #8
                I just saw this, and wanted to chime in with some encouragement if you haven't done it yet. I had Radio frequency ablation back in 2006 at L3/L4. I had radiculopathy (nerve pain) across my thigh and running down the front of my leg and across my toes. The procedure completely blocked my pain for 18 months, and I thought that it was well worth it. After 18 months, the nerve did grow back with a vengeance, but the disc that caused the pain had shrunk back so I was in less pain after it settled down. So I encourage you to do it since the procedure itself is not very painful and there is virtually no layup time.

                I think that I can answer your question about why doctors check the spine last, even though spinal conditions are so common especially in riders. It's because our backs are literally like train wrecks, so they are going to be able to diagnose something even though it is not really the cause of your pain. I went to a doctor who did the opposite--diagnosed the back pain first-- and therefore totally missed the fact that I had absolutely no cartilage left in my right hip. Oops. Boy, was she embarrassed!
                "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                • #9
                  Hi there, I had an RFA done on my C-spine about 1.5 years ago. I have facet joint syndrome in my c and t-spine from a car accident. My story was similar to others that superficial blocks and cortisone showed temporary relief, so then we did an RFA type of procedure where the current pulsed and interrupted the nerve signal for about 30-60seconds. This was to avoid putting a heat lesion which is the complete RFA. Unfortunately it didn't last long, so I had the RFA done. My symptoms started to appear again about a year after, but very slowly and very managable. I then had shoulder surgery on the same side which actually reduced some of the neck pain. So fortunately 1.5 years later I haven't needed another RFA and probably will not for some time if ever. However I was told I can expect the effects to last 1-1.5 years, so feeling pretty good about my decision.

                  You should know though that a possible side effect is neuritis over the nerves that are burned, and I did have this happen. It was like numbness and then some tingling as the nerves rebuilt. It's not permanent and definitely didn't outweigh the benefits of the procedure.

                  I also wanted to add, that like others, often the second cortisone shot was a disaster - meaning it didn't work well so the weight gain wasn't worth it

                  The key to these kinds of procedures is managing your life to minimize stress and injury (ie. strengthen muscles) and take your meds. With all of this your procedure has the best chance of succeeding and lasting longer. Just my two cents and best of luck.
                  Last edited by infiniti; Jun. 6, 2013, 04:31 PM.
                  Originally posted by Calamber
                  So much stupidity, so little time.
                  Confessions of a Dressageaholic - www.dressageaholic.com