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Revision Lumbar Surgery Specialist

George Kakoulides, MD -  - Board Certified Neurosurgeon

George Kakoulides, MD

Board Certified Neurosurgeon located in West Islip, Huntington, Smithtown, NY, & Long Island, NY

Patients who continue to suffer from back pain after spine surgery to correct the problem often need revision lumbar surgery. Board-certified neurosurgeon George Kakoulides, MD, in West Islip, Huntington, and Smithtown, New York, evaluates your records and current health, determines why you still have pain despite surgery, and explains all your conservative and surgical treatment options. When revision surgery is the best choice, he carefully plans and performs your procedure. If you have questions about revision lumbar surgery, call one of the offices or book an appointment online.

Revision Lumbar Surgery

What is revision lumbar spine surgery?

Revision lumbar spine surgery is done to alleviate pain that persists or returns within a few months of a previous spine surgery. Revision surgery is more complex and challenging than your original procedure.

As a result, Dr. Kakoulides performs a thorough evaluation. He carefully reviews your records and often orders an MRI, CT scan, and/or X-rays to fully assess the bones and soft tissues in your spine.

In some cases, he may perform additional testing such as a myelogram or electromyography. Then he talks with you about all your options before creating a treatment plan tailored to meet your health care needs.

When might I need revision lumbar spine surgery?

Needing revision lumbar spine surgery doesn’t automatically mean that something went wrong during your original spine surgery. There are several reasons why your pain may linger months after surgery that was supposed to treat the problem, including:


Pseudarthrosis occurs when the bones fail to grow together and heal properly after a bone fusion.

Adjacent level disease

Adjacent level disease, also called adjacent segment disease, is a condition that develops when degenerative changes affect the spinal discs or joints above or below the vertebral level where a previous fusion was performed.

Recurring conditions

Some spine problems such as degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, and spinal stenosis may reappear. The condition may recur at the same or different area as your previous spine surgery.

Hardware failure

The plates, screws, and rods used to repair or fuse your spine may loosen.

Progressive deformities

New pain may develop when a spinal deformity gets progressively worse even after your previous surgery repaired the existing deformity.

What symptoms indicate I may need revision lumbar spine surgery?

In addition to ongoing back pain, you may also experience muscle cramps and tingling and pain that radiate down your leg. In some cases, you may develop numbness or muscle weakness. 

What should I expect during revision lumbar spine surgery?

The best treatment for your ongoing symptoms may include a combination of conservative and surgical options. Conservative medical treatments include injections, physical therapy, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and aquatherapy.

Dr. Kakoulides recommends the revision procedure that meets your unique spinal problem. For example, you may need re-exploration, spinal fusion, additional instrumentation, disc replacement, or decompression surgery.

He may use a lateral transpsoas approach to avoid cutting through the scarred tissues that mark your previous surgical incision. This technique reduces your blood loss, shortens your hospital stay, and promotes a faster recovery.

If you continue to have pain after back surgery, call George Kakoulides, MD, or schedule an appointment online.