04 Oct How to Pick Up the Pieces After a Failed Back Surgery?
A failed back surgery can be a devastating experience. For those who have undergone surgery to alleviate chronic pain, only to find that their symptoms continue or worsen, the sense of betrayal and disillusionment can be overwhelming.
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If you are struggling with the failed back syndrome, know that you are not alone. Many people have gone through this experience and found ways to cope and improve their quality of life.
What Is a Failed Back Syndrome?
A failed back syndrome is a condition that can occur after surgery to correct a problem with your back. The term “failed back syndrome” does not necessarily mean that the surgery was a failure. Instead, it means that you have continuing pain even after having the surgery. Failed back syndrome is sometimes called post-laminectomy, post-discectomy, or post-surgical syndrome.
What Causes Failed Back Syndrome?
1) Spinal Fusion Failure
The spinal fusion may fail when the spinal bones (vertebrae) and the discs are not healing correctly. This can happen for several reasons, including:
The bones and discs were not able to be appropriately aligned during surgery
The bone graft or artificial disc did not fuse correctly to the vertebrae. There was too much motion at the level of the fusion. The surgery did not relieve all of the pressure on the nerves.
2) Nerve Damage
Nerve damage can occur during back surgery due to the following:
Incision site – the incision made to reach the spine can damage the surrounding nerves
Retraction – the process of moving tissues out of the way to get to the spine can damage delicate nerves
A tear or injury to the dura (the outermost layer of tissue surrounding the spinal cord and nerves)
Surgical equipment (such as a scalpel or scissors) is used near the nerves.
Sometimes, the cages or rods used to fuse the spine slip out of place. This is called “migration” and can cause a lot of pain. In some cases, your doctor may be able to put the cage or rod back in place without having to do another surgery.
Way To Treat Failed Back Surgery
Many medications can help control the pain associated with failed back surgery syndrome. These include over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as well as prescription medications, such as antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and nerve block injections.
2) Physical Therapy
Physical therapy will help you regain strength and flexibility in your back and improve your overall mobility. A physical therapist will design a customized rehabilitation program based on your specific needs and goals.
3) Spinal Cord Stimulation
You may be the right candidate for spinal cord stimulation (SCS). SCS is a safe and effective treatment option for chronic pain. SCS sends electrical impulses to the spinal cord to block pain signals from reaching the brain. During the medical procedure, a small device called a pulse generator is implanted under the skin in the lower back. This device is connected to thin wires (leads) placed next to the spinal cord. The leads carry electrical impulses from the pulse generator to the spinal cord. The electrical impulses block the pain signals before reaching the brain. SCS is a reversible procedure and can be turned off at any time.
If you want back pain relief in Chicago, contact Illinois Pain and Spine Institute. Our pain management specialists offer comprehensive care for patients with chronic pain conditions.