Having surgery to address back or neck pain is a big decision and an invasive procedure. While most of these surgeries are incredibly successful in reducing pain and restoring mobility and function, they do fail in some cases. If you have a case of failed back surgery (FBS), sometimes called failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), you’re not alone.
It’s estimated that anywhere between 10% and 40% of lumbar laminectomy surgeries, with or without spinal fusion, result in FBS. Researchers also show that 5%-36% of people who had a discectomy for a lumbar herniated disc had pain return within two years of their procedure.
The team at Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care with offices in West and North Plano, Texas, understand how frustrating failed back surgery syndrome can be. We’re here to help. These are the potential steps we’ll take when evaluating your FBS so you can get relief.
Now another surgery isn’t always the best bet, but if your original back surgery failed because it didn’t address the true source of your pain, then it may be a logical step. The providers at Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care do a thorough review of your medical history, your symptoms, and current physical situation.
They also do advanced electrodiagnostic tests to help determine the exact cause of your pain. In many cases, you also benefit from imaging, like an X-ray or MRI, to look for scar tissue or other issues that could be interfering with the surgery’s success. Your surgery at Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care would be performed with innovative, minimally invasive techniques that promote faster healing.
We do recognize that a second back surgery only has a 50% success rate, in general, and a third or fourth surgery has only 30% and 15% success rates, respectively. As a result, we are judicious in recommending another surgery and may suggest a multidisciplinary approach to address your pain.
Other treatments following failed back surgery
You’re very likely looking at a return to more conservative therapies to manage your back pain. These may include medications as well as physical therapy to strengthen your core and increase your spine’s range of motion. If you’re overweight, losing pounds can be really helpful in alleviating back pain.
A spinal cord stimulator is another way to help relieve pain in your back when spine surgery fails. This implantable device sends mild electrical signals to nerve roots that come from the spinal cord. These signals dull pain.
A spinal cord stimulator is less invasive than repeat surgery, carries fewer risks of complications, and means shorter or no hospital stay. Plus, you’re in charge of the delivery of pain relief. There’s a remote control that you use to turn the stimulation on and off as well as increase or decrease the intensity of the impulses.
Spinal cord stimulation treats the symptoms of your pain and the way your brain perceives pain, but does not cure your underlying condition. It can be a serious help, though, when other therapies (like surgery) fail to give you relief.
If you continue to suffer from serious back pain, despite having surgery, contact Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care today. Call the most convenient location or use the online tool to schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.