Back pain is one of the most commonly reported conditions when it comes to chronic pain throughout the body.
And if prescription drugs and other treatments don’t work, your doctor may turn to back surgery as a seemingly logical next step.
But both before and after the procedure, there may be lingering issues that don’t go away, which may even get worse after the surgery is over.
So how successful is back surgery? What happens if you don’t find relief despite undergoing an operation?
Here’s what you need to know, as well as a look at your options if your surgery is not successful in relieving your chronic back pain.
Back Surgery Does Not Have a High Success Rate
If you are still having pain issues after your back surgery, you are not alone.
A recent study that followed 1,450 patients who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation, or radiculopathy, (which is a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness), found that two years after back surgery, only 26% of the patients were able to return to work. That’s an astonishing 74% failure rate!
In another troubling statistic, the researchers found for those who underwent surgery there was also a 41% increase in the use of painkillers afterward, which included highly addictive opioids.
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBBS) Is a Medical Condition
This relapse or return to pain is so common that it is listed as a medical condition – Failed back surgery syndrome (FBBS).
FBBS is characterized by chronic pain that persists following spine surgery. Addressing the syndrome can involve a wide array of treatments and solutions that are well outside the surgical realm.
To identify this issue and make a proper diagnosis, a physician will:
- Look at the patient’s history, particularly the type of surgery (or surgeries) that were done and the reasons behind them
- Examine how the patient’s symptoms have evolved following the surgery
A Failed Surgery Doesn’t Have to Involve More Surgeries
Having a painful back surgery only to find that the pain hasn’t gone away is frustrating.
After all, to have the surgery, you have to put your life on hold. You hope this extreme measure will get you back to your normal, healthy self.
But many patients are relieved to find out that a failed back surgery does not automatically mean that more surgeries will be required to fix the issue.
A physician experienced in chronic pain management may suggest gentler treatments, like spinal cord stimulation.
Spinal cord stimulation provides therapeutic effects through targeted and electrical stimulation. These effects provide gentle relief by effectively masking the pain signals from reaching your brain.
A failed back surgery is a horrible situation. What comes next doesn’t have to include drastic measures. It can even help you get closer to finally finding long-term relief for your pain.
Get to the root of your problem by partnering with an experienced pain management provider who can give you back your everyday life.
We Can Help
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Rich today so we can get to work uncovering this root cause of your pain.
Though the process entails a lengthier conversation, it’s this in-depth knowledge that is the most effective for you.