Back surgery is an essential procedure that can improve one’s quality of life and rectify life-threatening conditions. Performing these procedures with care and expertise is essential to ensuring patients receive the benefits they need to lead healthier lives. Our guide looks at the top causes of failed back surgery.
However, there are several things that can interfere with the success of back surgery. These things should be addressed and avoided at all costs in order to avoid serious medical complications.
Top Causes of Failed Back Surgery
If you have a back surgery planned or are just interested in staying wary of failed back syndrome, take a look at this list of the reasons that a back surgery might fail.
1. You’re a Poor Candidate for Surgery
Some people who might think that they need back surgery might actually benefit from more conservative treatments. Receiving a thorough physical examination along with diagnostic imaging can help you determine whether or not you need surgery.
It also comes recommended that your doctor perform a psychological review to determine whether or not that might have something to do with your condition. In some situations, surgery might interfere with one’s condition more than help it.
Elderly patients will also face challenges with surgery. Their chance of incurring complications is much higher.
2. Incorrect Diagnosis
An incorrect diagnosis can easily lead to a failed surgery. For example, arthritis can be misinterpreted as lumbar disc disease. Surgeons have several ways to address and diagnose these things.
Since everyone’s spine is unique, a surgeon might have problems with locating the exact area of surgical intervention. This can often happen when they are removing nearby discs rather than a problem disc in a herniated disc situation.
3. Error During Surgery
Error is bound to occur in complex operations like spinal surgery. This is despite the fact that these types of surgeries are, for the most part, performed by highly competent surgeons who are specialists in their field. This margin for error is primarily due to the fact that spine surgeries are, by their very nature, highly complex.
This is why, in some cases, it remains advantageous for patients to opt for minimally invasive back surgeries of some kind. These types of surgeries involve smaller incisions, less damage overall, and a faster recovery time.
4. Recurrent Disc Herniation
When the inner layer of the spinal disc presses past the damaged outer layer, it has the potential to create a bulge, which can put pressure on one’s nerves. Many individuals choose to receive a procedure called a microdiscectomy to treat this problem. This procedure involves removing a small portion of a damaged disc so it no longer presses on the nerve.
If this problem occurs multiple times, this is called a recurrent disc herniation. This has the potential to cause a patient severe discomfort.
5. Scar Tissue Formation
Scar tissue may form in the area of the operation. If tissue forms around the root nerve of the spine, there could be continued pain after surgery. The pain from scar tissue formation has the potential to last for up to 3 months after the surgery is complete.
6. Hardware and Implant Rejection
Spinal fusion surgeries often involve the implantation of spinal hardware of some kind. This often utilizes metal screws and similar things to make the area more stable. This hardware has the potential to bend and break while supporting the spine.
This type of mishap is much more common in obese patients who have had multiple areas of spinal fusion. It’s less likely in individuals who are physically fit.
Implant rejection becomes an issue when the body doesn’t accept a graft or implant of some kind. This issue becomes less likely when one’s graft comes from one’s own body.
Recovering from a Failed Back Surgery
There are several different methods available for treating failed surgeries. The two primary methods are medication management and physical therapy. Medication can range in strength from simple NSAIDS to more powerful medications like opioids. If the failed surgery is causing you distress, your doctor may advise that you take some kind of mood-stabilizing substance.
Physical therapy is another option that could result in diminished pain. You’ll be able to discuss which route is right for you with your physician.
The Spine Expert of Los Angeles
Dr. Yashar and the rest of his team are dedicated to enacting the finest quality of spinal care for the residents of LA. If you’re worried that you might have an issue with your spine, don’t hesitate to contact our spine surgeon in order to pursue your path to healing.