Spinal surgery is a safe and effective way to treat chronic back pain that will not improve with nonsurgical treatments like medication and physical therapy. Although most back surgeries have successful outcomes, some patients continue to experience pain and other symptoms long after the procedure; this is sometimes called post-surgical spine syndrome or failed back surgery syndrome. Persistent pain after the typical recovery period is a significant reason for revision lumbar surgery West Islip – an advanced surgical procedure performed when previous surgery does not provide the expected outcomes. Below are five common reasons for revision back surgery.
Spinal fusion surgery permanently connects two or more vertebrae in your spine, eliminating painful motion between them and flexion in that area. Usually, the bones may take up to a year after surgery to heal into one solid unit. However, sometimes the bones may not fuse as they should after spinal fusion surgery. Any patient who has had spinal fusion can experience fusion failure or pseudoarthrosis, but the risk is higher in people who use corticosteroids. Fusion failure can also occur when the surgeon does not use hardware like rods, metal plates, and screws to hold the vertebrae together.
Recurring herniated disc
Discectomy is a common surgical procedure for herniated discs – it involves removing the portion of the disc that compresses the nerve roots, leaving the remaining disc material in place. After surgery, the other part of the disc may herniate again, causing symptoms like pain that radiates to your legs, numbness, and weakness. In such cases, you may require revision surgery to correct the problem. If you have a recurring herniated disc, your surgeon may recommend artificial disc surgery. The surgeon removes the damaged disc for this procedure and replaces it with an artificial disc made from metal or plastic. However, artificial disc surgery is not a good option for patients with arthritis.
Different procedures use spinal hardware to facilitate healing after an injury or increase stability. Examples of hardware that surgeons use for back surgery include rods, plates, and screws. Although durable, they may not be the perfect solution because sometimes they can shift out of place. They can also become damaged or irritate surrounding tissue, causing chronic discomfort. When this happens, revision back surgery is usually necessary to remove the damaged or shifted hardware and place another hardware.
Scar tissue formation
Scar tissue formation is expected during a healing process, and most of the time, the tissue is harmless. However, fibrous scar tissue can compress or irritate a nerve root, causing back pain that may radiate down your legs. In such cases, you may need revision surgery for scar tissue removal to relieve the symptoms.
Adjacent segment disease
Adjacent segment disease is a condition whereby degenerative changes occur on the discs and join above and below the original surgical site. The exact cause of this condition is unclear, but it can occur due to the natural degenerative process that develops in the spine as you age. Adjacent segment disease is also more likely to happen in the neck and back region of the spine since they are the most mobile spinal regions.
If you have had back surgery and chronic pain, consult your surgeon at George Kakoulides, MD, to discuss your treatment options.