Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refers to a persistent back pain condition that often results from repeated surgery of the back. Somewhat counterintuitively, the condition itself has nothing to do with the operation.
Rather, it develops due to several factors.
What Causes Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?
The most common cause of FBSS is poor healing of scar tissue that ends up impinging on nerves post-surgery. If nerves get damaged and don’t heal properly after surgery, this can result in persistent back pain.
Sometimes, FBSS results from improper diagnosis of the original cause of the back pain. If a patient receives the wrong diagnosis, they may undergo surgery that does nothing to alleviate their pain.
Another common factor is psychological predisposition. Studies have shown that people who have a history of substance abuse, depression, or mania have a higher risk of developing FBSS? Adults who had bad childhoods with instances of abuse or neglect develop negative perceptions, passive attitudes, and hopelessness. This negativity impairs their ability to cope well after surgery and puts them at risk of FBSS.
• Foraminal (Spinal) Stenosis
Foraminal stenosis occurs due to disk herniation after surgery. It manifests as a pain that appears only occasionally and may occur especially during strenuous activities such as bicycling.
• Decompression Surgery Complications
Complications can occur after decompression surgery if the spinal nerves take a very long time to heal, often months. A person can end up with permanent nerve damage and stand little to no chance of getting rid of the pain with more surgery.
Effective Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Treatment Options
There are many effective ways of treating FBSS. A physician may recommend chiropractic care to manage or eliminate the pain.
• Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic centers offer a range of holistic treatments FBSS. Some of these include massage, electric muscle stimulation, and spinal decompression.
Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is a non-medicinal approach that chiropractors can use to treat FBSS effectively. Scientific studies support its effectiveness, and many chiropractors used it to eliminate pain brought about by FBSS. EMS works by sending electric stimulation to an affected area, which causes the muscles to contract and improves blood flow in the affected area.
Spinal decompression using techniques such as the Kennedy Neural-Flex Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression can also be helpful. It is especially effective in failed back surgery syndrome treatment as a means of controlling back pain associated with sciatica and eliminating pain from herniated and degenerative discs.
In more acute cases of failed back surgery syndrome, medication can help alleviate the pain. Many doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for this purpose. Other pain-relieving medicines, such as oral steroids and opioids, are also effective at relieving post-surgery pain.
Physical therapy can also supplement the treatments above. The role of physical therapy for effective failed back surgery syndrome treatment goes beyond just relieving pain, it also helps relieve stress and change negative behavior patterns.