The complex system of vertebrae, ligaments, joints and cartilage known as the spine or “backbone” is susceptible to a number of injuries and disorders, especially as we age. If the symptoms of a spine-related condition become debilitating, conservative treatments typically do not provide sufficient relief. If there is a threat of future complications developing, an individual may choose to undergo corrective surgery.
Generally, spine surgeries are highly effective and minimally invasive surgeries, in particular, have lower risks of post-surgical complications and are lauded for significantly less pain involved. In fact, many minimally invasive operations are even performed as outpatient procedures that allow patients to return home the very same day! For a small amount of patients, however, post-surgical pain and discomfort may arise. The term “failed back surgery syndrome,” known as FBSS, is an all-encompassing definition that refers to patients who have experienced consistent pain after their back surgery. Sharp or aching pain may develop gradually after the operation or be continually present from the moment the procedure concludes.
A surgery may fail for a wide variety of reasons. In order to achieve relief, it is important to obtain an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the complications behind your chronic back pain. At Microspine, our experienced spine surgeon, Dr. T, can evaluate your symptoms and medical history to determine if you might be suffering from failed back surgery syndrome.
By definition, failed back surgery syndrome is pain that resurfaces or remains after a spine-related surgery. There may be many underlying causes for a patient’s symptoms, including:
If you suspect you may be at risk for failed back surgery syndrome, schedule a consultation with one of our experts to discuss the best ways to prevent this complication and improve your quality of life.
The most obvious symptom of failed back surgery syndrome is continuous back pain after spinal surgery that doesn’t lessen throughout a patient’s recovery process. This pain can be acute and is sometimes equal to or worse than the pain experienced prior to the surgery. Additional symptoms include:
Because these symptoms can be evidence of a wide range of spine-related conditions, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis from one of our knowledgeable spine specialists. By identifying the source of your pain, it is possible to treat you complication and rule out dangerous or life-threatening concerns.
You do not have to accept pain from a previous back surgery as an unalterable part of your daily life. If you are experiencing post-operative discomfort, we are here to help. From consultation to treatment, your health and quality of life are our team’s top priorities.
During your initial appointment, one of our acclaimed spine expert will carefully and compassionately identify the source of your pain. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and efficiency, your doctor may implement a physical exam, state-of-the-art pain-mapping procedure or an imaging test, such as a CT scan, X-ray or MRI. After ascertaining the underlying cause of your symptoms, our team will construct a treatment plan designed around your unique needs and health history.
The components of your treatment will depend almost entirely upon the root cause of your symptoms. Generally, we encourage exploring conservative treatment options before considering a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The following non-surgical methods of care can sometimes relieve any pain and inhibition caused by a previous back surgery:
Conservative treatments help many patients find the healing they need after a failed back surgery. For some individuals, however, the underlying cause of their pain cannot be addressed without corrective surgery. At Microspine, we specialize in performing Revision spine surgery and minimally invasive endoscopic surgeries that are tailored to individual patient needs. When compared to traditional open surgeries, minimally invasive surgeries generally allow for the following benefits:
If a patient is suffering from obesity or has significant scar tissue from a previous surgery, minimally invasive surgery may not be an option. Our surgeons are experienced in both traditional and minimally invasive procedures, which allows us to provide whichever surgical approach will best address your case of failed back surgery syndrome.
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