Failed back surgery syndrome is a term used to describe what sometimes happens when patients fail to experience successful results following some type of spine surgery. While there is no way to prevent all instances of FBSS due to the many variables associated with spine surgery, there are ways you can minimize the risk of experiencing a failed surgery.
The diagnosis of the back problem that resulted in the recommendation for surgery typically involves confirmation of an abnormality with imaging tests. MRIs and x-rays, while highly reliable, can’t always spot underlying sources that may also be contributing to your back pain. The leading cause of FBSS is an inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis that results in a procedure that does nothing to address the true source of your discomfort. Before surgery, increase your comfort level with your diagnosis by:
• Seeking multiple opinions from spine surgeons and board-certified orthopedic specialists
• Determining if other non-surgical options may provide relief
• Considering the overall success rate of your procedure
Even the most common spine surgeries don’t have a one-hundred percent success rate. However, there are some back surgeries with more predictable outcomes. Surgery to relieve leg pain from a herniated disc, for instance, is often more successful than multiple fusion surgeries to correct spinal instability. Understanding the risks associated with surgery can also help reduce depression or anxiety that sometimes becomes an issue when back surgery fails.
Another reason for FBSS is a lack of sufficient rehab or reluctance on the part of the patient to fully participate in the rehab process. It’s just as important to commit to the recovery process to help strengthen your back muscles and regain as much motion as possible through exercises performed in a supervised setting.
Unless there’s some urgency to proceed with back surgery, there’s no harm in taking time to feel confident that you’re making the right decision. When surgery becomes your most-likely source of relief, taking the time to ask questions and research your condition can also help increase the odds of a successful outcome.
Learn more about your options for back pain relief, including spinal fusion and spinal decompression surgery, by reaching out to The Spine Institute Center in Beverly Hills at (310) 828-7757. As leaders and innovators in spine surgery, our experienced physicians can identify the right treatment for your individual case and help you rediscover a pain-free lifestyle.