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Treatment for failed back surgery syndrome: what to expect

When designing a treatment plan for a patient who has failed back surgery syndrome, a doctor will usually begin by suggesting conservative methods to relieve any pain and other symptoms being experienced. Follow-up surgery may not be recommended at all. Like an initial spine surgery, a second procedure to address failed back surgery syndrome is typically seen as a last resort.

To help the treatment process go as smoothly as possible, it’s important to understand what to expect — and when to expect it — before getting started. The following information can help you plan for the time ahead as you work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan to address the complications of a failed back surgery.

Initial treatments are typically conservative

While dealing with failed back surgery syndrome, you’ll most likely be advised to try treatments that are conservative in nature. Commonly recommended options include:

  • Medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Physical therapy sessions
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Alternating use of a heating pad and an ice pack
  • Periods of rest

Though not fully supported by mainstream medical research, complementary therapies are sometimes attempted as well. Options such as chiropractic care or acupuncture are reported by some patients to be helpful for relieving pain, tension and stress experienced during the recovery process, helping enhance the benefits of other traditional treatments.

Taking care of your body during this time is key, but you should also be aware of your mental health needs as well. A therapist can help you develop effective strategies for dealing with the pain and frustration that often come with a failed back surgery.

Considering the possibility of a second surgery

If conservative and complementary treatments don’t provide you with the relief you need, you may eventually decide to consider another back surgery. It may be possible to address the problem that was not properly treated, or potentially made worse, by your previous operation. An orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon can help you evaluate your options.

At USA Spine Care we provide minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery, offering our patients a reduced complication rate and no lengthy recovery.^ For help in evaluating your failed back surgery syndrome treatment options, contact us today.

Our dedicated and caring team will be glad to assist you in receiving a no-cost MRI review* that can determine if you may be a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.

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