When it comes to back surgery, almost everybody is anxious and out of sorts with worry that the surgery wouldn’t be a success, or that their back pain would only reoccur. This is a very valid concern seeing that back surgery are successful in alleviating pain only about 50% of time. So what happens when the surgery has not been effective is known as failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).
Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) isn’t actually a syndrome in the strictest sense of the word but rather an all encompassing term that is used to describe the pain and condition faced by patients even after a back/spine surgery. This is unique seeing that there’s no equivalent in any other surgery like cardiac surgery, knee surgery, etc. The problem is even top of the line surgeons and best of surgeries can rarely guarantee 100% pain relief.
The thing about spine surgeries is that they can achieve only two things – decompress a pinched nerve root or stabilize a joint. So while the surgery may help if your pain is a direct result of these two conditions, that’s rarely the case. So you won’t be able to eliminate pain completely unless there’s an injury or anatomical cause that is identified prior to the surgery. More often than not, surgeries fail because the origin of pain is usually something else than was initially diagnosed.
Other Causes of FBSS could include
• Fusion surgery complications/failure
• Lumbar decompression surgery complications like spinal stenosis, disc herniation,
• Inadequate decompression
• Nerve damage
• Scar tissue formation around the nerve root
• Inadequate Postoperative rehabilitation.
How likely is the pain to resurface after a surgery
The answer to this depends largely on the type of surgery you’ll be going under the knife for. Some surgeries can be predicted to significantly alleviate or even cure your chronic pain.
For instance microdisectomy for lumbar disc herniation can relieve leg pain completely but would have no effect if you have lower back pain.
Likewise, spine fusion is extremely effective for conditions like spondylolisthesis where instability is the cause of pain. However, fusion surgeries aren’t very effective for degenerative disc diseases
So, if you want to avoid FBSS, you’ve got to clearly research and understand the kind of surgery you’ll be undergoing and sticking to those which have high rate of success as well as determining the correct anatomical cause of chronic pain.
This is the first part in our series taking a detailed look at Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. In our second part, we will take a closer at ways you can prepare yourself for surgery and be ready to face FBSS if it were to arise. Stay Tuned!“Core Chair” , a marvelous accessory that promises to alleviate your back pain and make life more comfortable. You can also use our exclusive coupon code “backpainsolutions10” and avail a 10% discount.