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Three facts about failed back surgery syndrome surgery

Failed back surgery syndrome surgery refers to a secondary surgery that a patient undergoes after a previous operation did not produce the desired results or potentially even made the patient’s original symptoms worse. A second surgery may be recommended for any number of reasons. Sometimes, a surgical implant migrates and is no longer effective, while in other situations, a surgeon does not fully decompress a nerve or nerve root. Additionally, a second surgery might be recommended if a patient’s initial treatment plan was based on an incorrect diagnosis. For instance, surgery was initially performed to address a slipped disc when a bone spur was actually the cause of the patient’s discomfort.

Mentally preparing for a second surgery

Many people are understandably apprehensive about undergoing failed back surgery syndrome surgery after an ineffective initial operation. In fact, depression is a common symptom of failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), and emotional distress can make it difficult to even think about moving forward. However, with proper support from friends and family and medical guidance from an experienced professional, most patients are able to find a secondary treatment plan that meets their needs.

Things to think about when considering surgery for FBSS

When evaluating additional options after a failed neck or back operation, consider the three following facts:

  1. Open spine procedures have a higher failure rate than minimally invasive procedures. Data provided by the National Institutes of Health indicates that the likelihood of FBSS increases with the invasiveness of the procedure being performed. This is one reason that many individuals choose minimally invasive surgeries for their second procedures, provided that they are good candidates.
  2. Up to 40 percent of patients who undergo traditional open back surgery experience failed back surgery syndrome. While most people do experience benefits following an operation, those who do not are not alone. Because so many individuals deal with this challenge, physicians and surgeons do offer options for treating FBSS.
  3. In many instances, the cause of a person’s failed back surgery syndrome can be identified and addressed. For instance, if a small amount of bone or disc tissue is not removed during a patient’s initial surgery, it’s possible to address this during a follow-up operation. If an implant moves out of its intended spot, it can be put back in place, or if an incorrect diagnosis leads to an ineffective treatment plan, imaging scans can be re-analyzed and a more appropriate option can be recommended.

If you’ve been diagnosed with — or worry that you might be experiencing — failed back surgery syndrome and are considering a second surgery to help, USA Spine Care can help you evaluate your options. We perform minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery that uses muscle-sparing techniques, including a less than 1-inch incision. With a 98 patient recommendation rate,^ USA Spine Care is a leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.

To find out more, contact us today. We offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.

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