Treatments for Failed Back Surgery

Failed back surgery

About 500,000 back surgeries are performed in the United States each year. They are usually highly successful for decompressing nerve roots, stabilizing painful spinal joints, and correcting numbness or loss of function. However, while most back surgeries achieve the initial goal, including pain relief, occasionally a patient’s pain and other symptoms return. This situation is known as failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).

Trauma, scarring, bone grafts, and screws used in spinal surgery may result in failed back surgery. Overall, there are many reasons back or neck surgery may fail; making it difficult to prevent failed back surgery.

Why Do Surgeries Fail?

Spine surgeries are usually performed as a last resort when neck or back pain cannot be relieved by options such as regenerative medicine or spinal cord stimulation. According to some surveys, up to 40% of patients still experience pain following surgery. Symptoms may include back or limb pain that is dull and aching, sharp, stabbing, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.

The following might explain why some surgeries fail:

  • Improper diagnosis of original problem
  • Nerve damage
  • Residual disc herniation
  • Infection in a disc space
  • Improper fusion after spinal fusion
  • Incomplete bone removal
  • Recovery has created undue stress on another weakened portion of the spine
  • Misaligned spine hardware

Failed back surgery is distressing for many reasons, not only for the persistent pain, but also because patients often spend a lot of time researching back surgery. This research should also include other options available to patients. While some instances may require surgery, there are viable nonsurgical solutions for many others. Even if you are subject to failed back surgery, Metropolitan Pain Consultants offers two treatments that may offer you solace.

Treatments Options for Failed Back Surgery:

Before you undergo any other type of treatment offering back or neck pain relief, you should first make sure you have the correct diagnosis. Once this has been established, one of several nonsurgical options may be available to you.

Spinal Cord Stimulation:

We offer two forms of neuromodulation:

Traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS) have been used by doctors since 1967. While SCS treats a number of conditions including movement disorders like Parkinson’s, they primarily manage chronic pain in the back, neck, arms, and legs. A small temporary device is placed in the patient. This device emits electrical currents. These currents help to manage pain by masking the receptors being sent to the brain.

BurstDR stimulation is different from traditional neurostimulation in one large aspect. While traditional stimulators use a small device to replace pain sensations with a tingling or massaging feeling, BurstDR is designed to mimic natural pain management. A small generator mimics natural brain patterns to modify pain signals and change the way your body perceives pain. With BurstDR most patients do not feel any sensation.

Regenerative Medicine:

At Metropolitan Pain Consultants we offer two different types of regenerative medicine:

PRP injection is a regenerative medicine that consists of the physician aspirating adipose (fatty) tissue by drawing blood. Following this the doctor will place the blood sample in a centrifuge to separate out the various layers of blood. Once the centrifuge is complete, the doctor will administer the PRP injection into the site of the injury. By placing the blood sample into the injured site, blood plasma with concentrated platelets, bioactive proteins, cytokines, and other growth factors accelerate the healing process of bone and soft tissue.

Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) therapy is similar to PRP injections in that they both utilize the patient’s blood to heal an injured area. However, BMC draws blood from the hip bone, which is rich in “pluripotent” stem cells. The doctor safely removes the blood from the hip bone, places the sample in a centrifuge to generate a powerful medicine, and finally injects the blood sample back into the injured area.

Related Information:

If you think stimulation or regenerative medicine is right for you, contact us at 201.729.0001. Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. We have clinics in West OrangeAberdeen, and Lyndhurst.

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