How to Minimize Risk of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Back surgery can offer permanent relief for your pain and mobility issues. Unfortunately, a small percentage of back surgeries are not successful, and the patient becomes a victim of failed back surgery syndrome.

One way to minimize your risk of failed back surgery syndrome is to ask your skilled surgeon questions and make sure you understand and are satisfied with the answers before proceeding with surgery.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome is not a syndrome, per se. It is basically a term describing patients who still experience pain after back surgery healing period should end. Certain types of back surgeries are more likely to result in failed back surgery syndrome than others. For example, spinal fusions for patients with multiple degenerative disc issues in the lower back is less likely to succeed than a spinal fusion for patients diagnosed with spinal instability.

Identifying the Correct Cause of Pain

A primary reason for failed back surgery syndrome is that the correct cause of the pain was not identified. Simply put, the area of the back in which the operation occurred was not the problem. The best way to minimize the risk of failed back surgery syndrome is to ensure the surgeon conducts extensive testing prior to surgery and definitively identifies the pain source. If your surgeon tells you the pain source is not 100 percent identifiable, it is wise to postpone surgery and/or get a second opinion.

Minimally Invasive vs. Open Back Surgery

A minimally invasive spinal surgery minimizes the risks of failed back surgery syndrome, although the condition can still occur. Unfortunately, there are some spinal conditions that require open back surgery. Even though a minimally invasive surgery is scheduled, once the surgeon is operating they may discover a traditional surgery is needed. Still, ask your surgeon whether a minimally invasive procedure is right for you.

Work on Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation after back surgery often is not easy or pleasant, but it is vitally important for recovery. Prior to back surgery, speak to your surgeon and a physical therapist and find out exactly what rehabilitation will involve. You must dedicate yourself to performing the necessary exercises and making the temporary accommodations needed in your daily life to increase the odds of your back surgery’s success.

Every patient is given an individual rehabilitation plan. If you find post-surgery you are experiencing difficulty with your therapy, speak to your doctor or therapist immediately so they may devise a plan you are more likely to follow.

Contact a Doctor Today

If you are considering back surgery or have experienced failed back surgery syndrome, call a skilled doctor today to arrange an appointment and a consultation.