Failed/Revision Spine Surgery in New Jersey
Spinal surgeries can make a huge improvement in the quality of life for patients. But there is always the risk that a surgical site won’t remain resolved. Unexpected trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, the aging process, an infection, or hardware failure are all possible contributing factors. When a previous spine surgery has been performed but at a future date the same or surrounding spine becomes problematic, the medical condition is called “failed back surgery.” If a patient is experiencing this medical condition, they should speak with a spine revision expert at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics. These are complicated cases that require a surgeon experienced in such cases. CNSO has been providing the Northern New Jersey area for years with high-quality diagnostic spine care and treatment options. Contact CNSO today to resolve any cause of back pain including failed back surgery.
Why Do Spine Surgeries Fail?
Determining the cause of back pain and spinal surgeries, in general, are complex. Although spine surgeries help many patients live a pain-free life, they are not a guaranteed permanent fix for back pain. Failed back surgery or failed back syndrome is a condition used to describe either successful spine surgery that over time becomes problematic or a persistent back pain following back surgeries where the desired outcome was not achieved. There are many reasons why a spine surgery may fail such as:
- Lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, and autoimmune diagnoses
- Post-surgical complications such as infection or scar tissue formation
- Incorrect diagnosis of the source of pain and dysfunction during the initial spine surgery
- Normal spinal bone growth fails to occur and fuse after spinal fusion surgery
- Hardware or spine implant failures
- Adjacent segment disease
- A surgical error during the initial procedure
About Revision Spine Surgery
If pain and discomfort originate near the first spine surgery because of a structural or hardware problem, a spine revision surgery may be the only way to correct the complication. If the symptoms are not due to a structural concern, physical therapy or steroid injections may resolve any pinched nerves. Revision spine surgery aims to treat the underlying structural problem directly causing the patient discomfort if conservative methods cannot. For instance, if there is an infection that seeds within the hardware and antibiotics do not resolve the infection, the old hardware may need to be removed. Revision surgery may also be necessary because the segments of the vertebrae adjacent to the previous surgical site became weak and demineralized causing instability and pain. In either situation, a decompression of the affected nerves or a stabilization of the spine may be necessary. For example, if at some time after the first back surgery the patient has back pain caused by a persistent pinched nerve that cannot be conservatively resolved, decompression surgery may be necessary to remove the structure causing pressure on the irritated nerves. There are types of decompressive surgeries named according to the anatomy that needs to be trimmed or removed by the decompression treatments such as:
If the patient experiences nerve impingement caused by segments of the spine moving abnormally, called “abnormal motion segments,” a spine stabilization surgery may be necessary. If the irregular motion is not resolved, it places the spinal cord at risk for injury. Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis or quadriplegia which is an unacceptable outcome. To avoid paralysis from caused by spinal instability, a spinal fusion surgery would need to be performed.
Do I Need Spine Revision Surgery?
Complications and a few of the symptoms that would necessitate an immediate spine surgery revision are:
- Nerve problems such as shooting pain, numbness, or muscle weakness
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Increased spinal instability or pseudoarthrosis
- Broken spinal instrumentation that threatens to damage nerve or vascular structures
- Spine infection
- Adjacent segment disease
- Scar tissue compressing nerves
- Spine Tumor
- New spinal diagnosis
Request an Appointment Today
The award-winning neurosurgeons fellowship trained in spine, plus orthopedic spine surgeons, and physicians fellowship trained in pain management, at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics are highly skilled in complex revision surgery utilizing minimally invasive techniques that prevent scar tissue pain and contributes to a quicker recovery. All CNSO surgeons are well adept in the use of robotics for the more challenging anatomy caused by previous multiple spine surgeries. To learn more about whether a spinal revision surgery might be the next step, contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics to schedule an appointment at one of our Northern New Jersey locations.