Most individuals experience back pain in some unspecified time in the future of their lives, and lots of experiences debilitating chronic back pain all year long. Pinpointing the origin of that pain might be difficult, especially after surgical intervention. When a patient’s pain symptoms haven’t improved after a surgical intervention, doctors may diagnose them with “failed back surgery syndrome,” or FBSS. Sometimes, the treatment didn’t take – and in other cases, back pain surgeries can address one issue but lay bare one other. Nonetheless, don’t let that name idiot you. There’s still hope on your condition, and depending in your circumstances, you might have multiple treatment options.
What Is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)?
FBSS refers to any back pain symptoms that linger after surgery and is a syndrome, not a condition, since it isn’t necessarily something a patient is diagnosed with. This doesn’t all the time mean the surgery failed or that the back did not get well from the surgery. As a substitute, it describes a set of pain symptoms that may occur after surgery for various reasons.
Semantically speaking, FBSS only refers to a surgical intervention that got down to resolve the pain and was unable to accomplish that. This implies your symptoms could have one other cause, a special cause, or multiple causes. The unique ailment could have been addressed in some cases but might be recurring, comparable to a slipped disc or spine fracture. Remember, other surgeries can “fail,” as well. Only FBSS receives its official nomenclature.
It’s essential to acknowledge that while the last word goal of treating back pain is to handle and eliminate a patient’s pain, most spine surgeries don’t got down to accomplish that. Doctors use nerve blocks, local anesthetic injections, and pain pumps to interfere directly with how the body sends pain signals back to the brain. Spine surgeries, alternatively, often got down to either:
- Clear the realm around a compressed nerve by removing bone tissue, lesions/tumors, and inflamed disc tissue.
- Stabilize a vertebra in critical condition, comparable to an unstable fractured joint, often through spinal fusion.
Most spine surgeries do circuitously address the pain issue but try to relieve it by addressing the core issue. In case your back pain is principally neurological, a laminectomy, discectomy, or spinal fusion may not help reduce your pain in the long run.
Chances are you’ll be experiencing FBSS in case your pain hasn’t resolved within the weeks after recovering from spine surgery. Depending on the character of your surgery, it could possibly be normal to feel pain for a while through the recovery process. But in case your pain worsens, hasn’t modified, or reappears in another way after your surgery, you’ll want to contact your doctor. It may well be difficult to diagnose FSBB without the specifics of your condition.
It’s often an excellent idea to call and ask your doctor what red flags to maintain an eye fixed out for. They may give you the chance to assist you pinpoint symptoms that indicate poor recovery or ongoing pain and separate them from symptoms which are normal through the recovery process. Keep an inventory of symptoms at hand that warrant an emergency call. Surgeries can suffer from complications and post-surgical pain from scarring or bleeding.
Surgery and Recovery
Depending in your surgery and recovery process, recovery can last anywhere from three to 6 months. Usually, you’ll want to look out for:
- Pain that’s worsening rapidly.
- Recurring pain after reducing in severity.
- Suddenly reduced mobility, especially greater than a month or two after surgery.
- Latest symptoms that weren’t previously associated along with your condition.
Some surgical interventions are more statistically successful than others. Your doctor and surgeon can inform you expressly about your possibilities of re-experiencing or continued pain after surgery based on similar cases. For instance, surgical intervention will often lead to long-term pain reduction in case you are experiencing leg pain and numbness as a result of a lumbar disc herniation – a swollen disc pressing on the nerve that runs through your hips and leg. But in case your principal grievance is lower back pain, surgery will less likely eliminate your pain.
Spinal fusion may resolve instability in a single spinal joint, but only one surgery may not fix disc degeneration along multiple joints in your lower back. Most doctors recommend surgery only as a final resort or in situations where success is statistically likely. In cases where surgery often finally ends up “failing” to handle pain, your doctor is more prone to recommend a treatment plan that involves patient- and condition-specific pain management, from psychotherapy to pain pumps, physical rehab, recurring nerve blocks, and more.
FBSS Treatment Options
In the event you received surgical back treatment and didn’t resolve your pain, you might still have multiple treatment options on the table. Your doctor may refer you to a pain clinic specializing in back pain patients. Pain clinics employ physicians and medical professionals from multiple backgrounds to form a team with an exhaustive list of pain management experiences. Their specialties include neurology, osteology, oncology, physiotherapy, and anesthesiology. Along with long-term pain management, your doctor will proceed to look at and assess your condition based on multiple aspects, comparable to:
- Symptoms are latest or recurring.
- You’ve got had mostly leg or back pain.
- Problems are systematic or localized.
- Other signs of neurological pain or inflammation.
- Comparing post-operative complaints to pre-operative complaints.
- Applying physical and imaging tests to further narrow down potential causes of constant pain.
Your treatment plan will rely on individual needs and proposals but may include:
- Personalized physical therapy and rehab.
- At-home exercises and posture-related recommendations.
- Vocational training.
- Medication (for pain, autoimmune conditions, and other related problems).
- Pain pump.
- Nerve blocks.
- Spinal cord stimulation.
- Psychotherapy (talk therapy for pain).
- And more.
Checking out that your back surgery has potentially failed is frustrating. Surgical interventions cost a whole lot of time, money, and energy, and we all the time hope for the perfect final result. Nonetheless, simply because your pain has returned or modified doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are all the time other methods and coverings to try. Seek advice from your doctor or a pain specialist to find out your next steps in treating your back pain.