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Symptoms That Might Indicate You Need Revision Lumbar Surgery

Symptoms That Might Indicate You Need Revision Lumbar Surgery

No one relishes the thought of surgery. But if you have a history of back pain, injury, or degeneration, you may have chosen spinal surgery as the best option to relieve your pain.

While it’s true that spine surgery can be an effective option for chronic conditions, unfortunately, it isn’t always successful. If you’re still experiencing back pain even after you’ve recovered from surgery, you might find yourself considering revision surgery.

George Kakoulides, MD, and our team specialize in diagnosing failed back surgery and recommending a new treatment plan. Nonsurgical care — like physical therapy, steroid injections, and lifestyle remedies — can make a difference for many people dealing with post-surgical pain.

And if your pain and symptoms persist, we’re here to help you decide if revision lumbar surgery is a good option for you.

Signs you may need to consider revision lumbar surgery

Back pain and surgery to restore spinal function are complex. No two people are alike, so it’s important to learn about all your options before choosing the best treatment for you.

As a spine surgery specialist, Dr. Kakoulides has experience in diagnosing and treating back pain after surgery. Some symptoms that may indicate that you need revision lumbar surgery are:

Your back pain returns

Pain is a normal part of recovering from spine surgery. You should expect pain during recovery, but that pain should improve as your body heals. When you follow your recovery guidelines and participate in rehabilitation, your pain should improve significantly over time.

However, 20-40% of people who get spine surgery experience pain that continues or returns after their bodies have healed. If you have fully healed from your first spine surgery, but your pain is the same or worse, it could indicate that the first surgery wasn’t successful.

Your spinal condition progresses

Herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis are a few of the most common reasons to have lumbar spine surgery. Surgery, like spinal fusion, can be effective for these conditions, but in some cases, the surgery doesn’t cure them.

You may find that your spinal condition reappears in the same area or develops elsewhere along your spine. Deformities may also progress, meaning that a spinal deformity that was repaired with surgery begins to get worse again.

Some people experience adjacent level disease, which is a condition that develops when spinal degeneration spreads to the discs and vertebrae above or below the location of your spinal fusion.

You suffered surgical complications

Surgical complications may develop when your body doesn’t heal properly after spine surgery. Pseudarthrosis is a condition that can develop when you have a bone fusion procedure, but your bones don’t grow together as they should.

Another possible complication of spine surgery is hardware failure. If you had hardware placed in your spine — such as plates, screws, or rods — those pieces of hardware may loosen and cause problems after surgery.

Consult a spine surgery specialist

Dr. Kakolides understands that revision surgery isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. We work with you to evaluate your options, and it all starts with a comprehensive spinal evaluation.

We review your symptoms, medical history, and previous surgeries. Dr. Kakoulides often orders medical imaging to evaluate your spine more closely. Following his diagnosis, he makes treatment recommendations to fit your needs.

Dr. Kakoulides often starts by recommending conservative, nonsurgical options. But in more severe cases, revision surgery is an option. Whatever treatment you choose, our team is dedicated to helping you live a life with less back pain.

If you’re frustrated by ongoing back pain after spine surgery, it’s time to learn more about your options. Request your first appointment online or call our team at 631-358-2589.

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