Failed Back Surgery

Failed Back Surgery

Failed Back Surgery services offered in Sarasota, FL

Failed back surgery reflects the disappointment and misery people feel when their pain doesn’t improve after undergoing surgery — a problem that can arise even when their surgery didn’t really fail. Peter Fernandez, MD, and Amanda Fernandez, DPT, MPH, CSCS, at Sunshine Spine and Pain Specialists, PLLC, in Sarasota, Florida, understand how you feel. They work with you, creating a personalized treatment that will ease your pain and help you reclaim a more active life. To schedule an appointment, call the office or request one online today.

Failed Back Surgery Q & A

What is failed back surgery?

Failed back surgery occurs when you still have back pain after undergoing surgery to repair the condition responsible for your pain.

You have failed back surgery if:

  • New back pain develops
  • Your original symptoms remain
  • Your pain improves after surgery and then returns
  • Your pain improves some, but not as much as expected
  • Your mobility doesn’t improve, or new movement problems develop

Your new pain may be in the same spot but feel different, or it could be in a different part of your spine.

What causes failed back surgery?

Though problems can arise during surgery, failed back surgery does not necessarily mean that something went wrong. You can have ongoing pain for many reasons, including:

Post-surgery complications

You can develop an infection or excessive scar tissue after surgery. These problems interfere with healing and irritate nerves. If you had rods, screws, or other hardware implanted, the pieces may come loose and fail to support your spine.

New disease or degeneration

Repairing one spinal problem doesn’t prevent another issue from developing. For example, you may have recurrent spinal stenosis or another disc herniation. It’s also possible that another condition started before your surgery but didn’t cause symptoms. Or your surgery may change the way your spine moves, potentially accelerating degenerative changes.

Adjacent segment disease

This condition may occur after a spinal fusion. The treated vertebrae heal, and that pain disappears, but the vertebral segments above or below the fusion develop a degenerative disease.

Surgery didn’t fix everything

Your back surgery may effectively take care of one problem, while another went undetected and untreated. Sometimes, the nerves may still have too much pressure placed on them despite decompression surgery. Though it’s not common, it’s possible for your surgeon to repair the wrong vertebrae or disc.

How is failed back surgery treated?

The Sunshine Spine and Pain Specialists, PLLC, team has extensive expertise in helping patients overcome the pain of failed back surgery. After carefully evaluating your surgery, completing a physical exam, and obtaining or reviewing current diagnostic images, your provider recommends treatments such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation

If you need help with failed back surgery, call Sunshine Spine and Pain Specialists, PLLC, or book a consultation online today.