The prospect of having more surgery to address failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is often an unwelcome one. If you recently had a spine procedure performed only to find that your discomfort has persisted or even worsened afterward, you may feel disappointed, frustrated, angry or discouraged, and your feelings are valid and understandable. But, you needn’t resign yourself to having another procedure just yet. Talk with your physician first. He or she may encourage you to try some nonsurgical treatment options for FBSS, which many patients find to be helpful.
Some treatment options to consider before surgery
FBSS can have a variety of causes and symptoms. For instance, it may not be possible for a surgeon to completely decompress a pressured nerve root. Additionally, scar tissue may form as the body heals, and this excess tissue can sometimes press on a spinal nerve. These are just two examples of why effective FBSS treatment can vary widely.
To find the best treatment approach for your unique situation, you should first see a physician who can perform a comprehensive evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis. After identifying the underlying cause of your FBSS, your physician can then help you develop a conservative failed back surgery syndrome treatment plan before you consider surgery. Some options include:
- Physical therapy. A customized program of targeted stretches and exercises can increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles surrounding your spine. This, in turn, can shift some of the weight load away from your spine and reduce the associated pressure.
- Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can decrease inflammation in your spine, which can provide a further benefit by making you feel comfortable enough to begin or expand your physical therapy program.
- Hot and cold therapy. You can freely use ice packs and heating pads as needed for immediate (but temporary) relief.
- Counseling. A licensed therapist can help you find new ways to think about and manage long-term pain and any related stress.
Surgery for FBSS
In the event that conservative FBSS treatment proves to be insufficient for you over time, your physician may advise you to consider surgery as your next step. But, your options may not be limited to a highly invasive open spine procedure. USA Spine Care offers safer and effective alternatives to traditional open neck and back procedures, and our patients are typically up and walking within a few hours of surgery.^
If you would like to find out if you’re a candidate for a surgery to address your failed back surgery syndrome, contact USA Spine Care.
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