Chronic pain after back surgery is a telltale sign that the procedure didn’t work as expected. At Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management in West Des Moines and Des Moines, Iowa, the board-certified anesthesiologists and pain management specialists take multiple approaches to address a failed back surgery. And they can treat your pain conveniently on-site, saving you money on co-pays and deductibles. Call or book an appointment online to learn more.
Failed back surgery is an umbrella term that describes an unsuccessful back or spine procedure.
Chronic pain can develop when your back surgery doesn’t work as intended. Pain from failed back surgery can stem from the procedure itself. However, the most common reason these treatments fail is that the source of pain was initially misdiagnosed.
The most common reason people undergo back or spine surgery is to stabilize a damaged joint or relieve a compressed nerve. While most types of surgery successfully relieve back pain, not all procedures offer predictable results.
For example, a discectomy to treat a lumbar (lower back) disc herniation is less likely to succeed when you primarily experience pain in the lower back rather than in the leg. Many patients experience lasting relief from leg pain after surgery, but the outcome for treating lower back pain is less certain.
Other common causes of failed back surgery include:
Scar tissue after surgery can lead to chronic pain if it forms around nerve root endings. When scar tissue builds around a nerve and causes pain, it can lead to epidural fibrosis.
Sometimes, the surgery itself isn’t the source of pain. Post-operative rehabilitation can lead to new pain.
Lumbar decompression surgery for a herniated disc or spinal stenosis may not be enough to relieve nerve pain effectively.
Diagnosing a failed back surgery is a complex process that requires a complete physical exam and medical history review. Your pain specialist at Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management may also order bloodwork and imaging tests, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.
The pain specialists at Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management take a multimodal approach to back pain treatment. A combination approach gives your doctor the tools to relieve pain and restore function to your damaged spine.
Common treatments your doctor may recommend include:
To learn more about failed back surgery, call Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.