The recovery process from spine surgery varies greatly depending on the patient and the type of surgical procedure performed. Individuals who undergo traditional open back surgery can expect significant postoperative discomfort and a fairly lengthy convalescence, usually between three and six months. Recovering from minimally invasive surgery at USA Spine Care is typically a speedier process,^ but even those who have had outpatient procedures will experience localized soreness and discomfort as part of the normal healing process.
While the majority of back surgeries are successful, in some cases they do not provided the results patients were expecting. Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a generalized term used to describe a situation in which a surgical procedure has not taken care of the original problem, has caused new problems or both. The reasons why failed back surgery syndrome occurs vary. Sometimes the procedure does not adequately address the cause of a patient’s neck or back pain. Sometimes the original condition is misdiagnosed and thus never addressed during surgery. Sometimes scar tissue forms that puts pressure on a nerve root. And sometimes postoperative complications such as infections or internal bleeding occur.
If you have recently undergone back surgery and are unsatisfied with the results, there are a number of signs that may suggest you are suffering from failed back surgery syndrome. These include:
- Little or no alleviation of your preoperative neck or back pain
- The manifestation of new symptoms that are as bad or worse than your original pain
- An exceptionally long recovery period in which your postoperative discomfort does not diminish
- Long-term muscle stiffness or frequent muscle spasms
- Dull aching pain that radiates from the neck or back and extends to the extremities
- Depression, anxiety and mood swings
- Continued difficulty walking, bending and twisting even after the normal recovery time
While FBSS can be disheartening, there are treatment options available. USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery that has helped tens of thousands of patients find relief from chronic pain caused by a wide range of conditions, including failed back surgery syndrome. If you would like to learn more, contact a member of our team today. And be sure to ask about the free MRI reviews* we provide. It’s the first step in determining if you may be a candidate for our outpatient procedures.
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