Questions to Ask Your Spinal Surgeon If You’re Suffering From Failed Back Syndrome

How to Relieve Back Pain as You Age

People often turn to spine surgery in order to relieve pain and other symptoms resulting from damage to the spine. However, many patients are both disappointed and frustrated when, after spending months recovering from surgery, they discover that the procedure was ineffective at treating their symptoms. When back pain and other symptoms continue after back surgery is performed, it is known as failed back syndrome.

It is important to understand that failed back syndrome doesn’t necessarily mean that you or the surgeon did anything wrong. It simply means that the outcome you and your doctor expected from the surgery did not happen for you. There are a wide variety of treatments available after failed back syndrome, and most people are not required to have a second surgery in order to find relief. Here are some questions to ask your spinal surgeon if the surgery you had failed to relieve your discomfort.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Me After Failed Back Surgery?

Research indicates that individuals who experience one failed back surgery are at an increased risk of having additional failures with follow-up or corrective surgeries. Luckily, having a second surgery is only one option for treating failed back syndrome. Many patients actually find relief from their pain through home treatments such as rest, exercise, and weight loss. Others can find relief through injectable treatments such as epidural steroid injections, or through the provision of physical therapy and chiropractic treatments.

There have been a number of technological advancements in laser surgery that give spinal surgeons the advantage of providing long-lasting or even permanent relief from back pain associated with failed back syndrome. It is important that you and your doctor go over all of the treatment options that are available for you in order to develop a plan that gets you back to an active and pain-free life as quickly as possible.

How Do You Know If My Pain Is a Result of Failed Back Surgery?

A physical exam will be performed so that your surgeon can determine where pain and tenderness is located, as well as the presence of inflammation or muscle spasms. Your doctor will check for neurological symptoms, such as muscle weakness or abnormal skin sensations. They may also rely on diagnostic imaging tests such as MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans to help inform their determination that your ongoing symptoms are the result of failed back surgery.

As part of diagnosing failed back surgery, your surgeon will be interested in how the initial procedure was performed and for what purpose. This can help them determine if the surgery failure was the result of a misdiagnosis. This is valuable information to have, as the effective treatment for a condition requires first knowing what that condition is. 

If I Need a Repeat Surgery, What Can I Do to Help Make This Surgery a Success?

After a back surgery has failed to relieve the pain experienced by the patient that warranted the procedure in the first place or results in new pain, your doctor will commonly look for non-surgical or minimally invasive procedures in order to correct or treat the problem so as not to put the patient through a second long, and painful process of recovering from traditional back surgery. Unfortunately, some cases of failed back syndrome can only be treated through an additional surgical procedure. 

There are a number of things that are commonly recommended in preparation for surgery. Your doctor can help you understand other preparations you need to take, such as when to stop eating or drinking before the procedure, when to stop taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications or supplements, and the type of supplies you will need for at-home care after the procedure. 

Your surgeon can also tell you how long your recovery will likely be, and any restrictions on activities that you will need to adhere to while you’re recovering from the procedure. They can provide information on other actions you can take both before and after the procedure to ensure that the surgery is a success.

If You’ve Had Back Surgery and You’re Still in Pain, Call Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

The medical team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery has developed a reputation for being able to perform the advanced treatments necessary to provide relief to those who have continued or new pain after surgery. We also place a high value in educating our patients about their condition so that they understand what to expect from us and the role they have in impacting their own health for the better.

With a focus on minimally invasive procedures, we have many treatment options available after a failed back surgery has taken place. If you had back surgery and it did not resolve the ongoing pain you were suffering from or even created new symptoms, our team is ready to help you begin the journey towards a pain-free life. To schedule a consultation, you can use our contact form or call us at (855) 853-6542.