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Can a chiropractor help treat failed back surgery syndrome?

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) treatment may be beneficial for you if you did not achieve a satisfactory outcome from spine surgery — in other words, if you are continuing to experience chronic and severe back pain despite the fact that you had surgery to alleviate it. For instance, a chiropractor may be able to help you with new or worsened symptoms. However, your first step should be to work with a surgeon who can determine the precise reason why your back surgery did not produce an acceptable result.

Why is spine surgery sometimes unsuccessful?

Even when performed by an experienced surgeon for all the right reasons, there are many factors that can negatively affect the result of a spine surgery. For instance, it may not be possible to completely remove tissue that is pressuring a spinal nerve, such as a bone spur or herniated disc. Or, a stabilizing implant that is placed during surgery may shift out of place before it becomes firmly attached to the intended bone. Also, during the healing process, bands of fibrous scar tissue can form around and compress nerves in the treated area. All of these issues can lead to more back pain.

How can a chiropractor help?

After a surgeon identifies the underlying cause of your failed back surgery syndrome (usually by evaluating a series of imaging studies), you should ask about any appropriate treatment options before committing to revision surgery. For instance, you may be able to find relief with chiropractic treatments, such as:

  • Postural modifications
  • Flexion/distraction chiropractic manipulation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Core stabilization exercises
  • Back bracing

It’s important to keep in mind that failed back surgery syndrome treatment only becomes necessary after spine surgery. Therefore, it is essential to try nonsurgical treatment before moving forward with more surgery (which can also potentially result in FBSS). Plus, you may find that a conservative treatment plan that includes chiropractic care and other options will provide the relief you need — without more surgery.

If revision surgery is the answer

Ultimately, if you and your treatment team decide that surgery is an appropriate next step for you, contact USA Spine Care. The minimally invasive spine surgery performed by our surgeons is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^ Find out if you’re a candidatetoday by asking us for a no-cost MRI review.*

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