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  • The number one cause of failed back surgery is operating on the wrong lesion, or on the lesion that wasn’t the cause of the initial pain.

    Some types of back surgeries have a higher success rate than others. For example, a discectomy for a lumbar disc herniation that is causing leg pain has a high rate of success. Whereas a discectomy for a lumbar disc herniation that is causing lower back pain is much riskier.

    Therefore, to reduce the risk of failed back surgery syndrome, patients should stick to operations that have a high degree of success.

    Other causes of failed back surgery syndrome and pain after surgery include:

    • Failure to fuse and/or implant failure

    • Transfer lesion to another level after a spine fusion if the next level degenerates and causes pain

    • Recurrent spinal stenosis, inadequate decompression of a nerve root, and preoperative nerve damage that doesn’t heal after a decompressive surgery

    • Nerve damage caused by surgery

    • Formation of scar tissue around the nerve root

    • Pain from a secondary pain generator

  • An unsuccessful back surgery may cause the following symptoms:

    • Chronic pain

    • Nociceptive pain

    • Neuropathic pain

    • Radicular pain

    • Return of original symptoms

    • Pain in new or different areas of the spine

    • Different type of pain

    • Reduced mobility

    • Headaches

    • Dull ache

    • Numbness

    • Cold sensations

    • Burning or prickly sensations

    Patients may need emergency treatment if they experience:

    • New weakness

    • Difficulty walking

    • Electric-like pain in the lower body

    • Fever

    • Vomiting

    • Unintentional weight loss

    • Loss of bowel or bladder function

  • At Westcare Clinics, patients diagnosed with facet syndrome may benefit from pain management techniques, joint and soft tissue injections, and occupational medicine. The right treatment option will depend on the patient’s unique condition and pain level.

    Treatment for facet syndrome may incorporate pain management techniques, such as cold and heat therapy, gentle exercise, physical therapy, biofeedback, mind-body techniques, therapeutic massage, music therapy, and occupational therapy to help manage their symptoms. Each patient will receive personalized recommendations from their doctor for managing pain.

    Westcare Clinics also offers joint and soft tissue injections to help minimize pain associated with the condition. These injections may include epidural injections (interlaminar and transforaminal), piriformis injectionsacroiliac joint injections, and trigger point injections. The type of soft tissue injection best for the patient will depend on the unique characteristics of their condition.

    Westcare Clinics is proud to offer occupational medicine for patients who need help adjusting to the physical demands of the workplace. Our team of healthcare practitioners is also available to train employers seeking to adapt the workplace and worker responsibilities to the physical limitations of an employee diagnosed with facet syndrome.

  • Patients experiencing pain from failed back surgery syndrome may need complex, long-term care to completely treat the condition. Advanced treatment options may include surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture, and other forms of rehabilitation. The Westcare Clinics team is happy to answer any questions patients may have about obtaining advanced treatment for failed back surgery syndrome.


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