RFA Progress – Week 4

This past Tuesday marked 5 weeks since my radiofrequency ablation and it’s time for a progress update. (Three weeks from today is my official checkup with Dr. Ratzman.) While I am not ready to concede defeat or pronounce success, I have noticed some progress–along with disappointment. Dr. Ratzman told me that I can’t think of success or failure until I hit that “magical” 6-week mark (Monday, December 20, 2016). So, rather than conceding or pronouncing victory I decided to post an update of current progress:

In this the 5th week since the procedure, I can now finally turn my head completely to the left without pain. This is a new development this week. Previously, I could only turn my head about 80% of the way to the left before pain presented. The last year has been even worse as pain immediately presented when turning to the left. During this past week to 10 days, the “sunburn effect” has dissipated and is nearly gone. Since the procedure 5 weeks ago, I have only experienced 1 or 2 cervicogenic headaches but my migraines are worsening. (These will return to “normal” once I have my next few Botox injections)

Over the next several weeks, months and years, I really do not know what to expect. The ablation promises to eliminate nearly half of my migraines (1/2 my headaches are cervicogenic, the other are migraines) for an extended period of time. I do now know how long to expect it to last because all previous “fixes” were temporary, but I plant take advantage of the relief. After the next checkup with Dr. Ratzman, I do plan to start neck therapy to attempt to correct the underlying cause before the pain returns. The pain is the result of a drastic change in orientation and curvature of my cervical spine and arthritis. Therapy will attempt to reorient my neck and correct the curvature.

If the ablation is successful then I can expect long-term healing and pain relief. If it is not, then we’ll do what we’ve done for 10 years–try something else.

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