By their very nature, surgeries always carry the potential risk of complications. Even with the ongoing advances in surgical technology and with the most highly skilled surgeon, a successful outcome isn’t always guaranteed.
For spine surgery, for instance, the success rate remains at a conservative estimate of 50 percent, as it hinges on a variety of factors such as your lifestyle, overall health, and weight. What this means is that between 10 and 40 percent of patients still experience persistent pain, or a condition referred to as failed back surgery syndrome (FBS).
If you’ve recently had spine surgery and you develop any of the following problems, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a revision spine surgery. Let’s take a closer look:
Recurrent Disc Herniation
A recurrent disc herniation is essentially a re-emergence of the problem that caused the initial surgery. Medically known as discectomy, the surgical procedure is aimed at relieving the pressure on the spinal nerve root by removing the damaged fragments of the disc.
Disc herniation commonly occurs in the lower back and neck (lumbar and cervical areas), which are the most flexible areas of the spine. Their flexibility is what also makes them highly susceptible to wear and tear, which eventually leads to lost fluid volume.
If your disc herniation has affected your nerves, you may feel severe, unrelenting pain, which is typically felt on one side of your body, radiating to your arm or leg. You may also feel the following symptoms:
- Difficulty getting up when seated
- Muscle weakness that may affect your ability to lift objects
- Numbness, or burning or tingling sensation (usually caused by a compressed nerve)
- Pain that gets worse when you’re sitting (although standing and walking can worsen it as well)
- Poor posture
- Slow reflexes
Surgical Site Infection
Spinal infections occur when fungus or bacteria invade the spinal tissues. Spinal infections may be rare, but when they happen, they can be destructive. This is owing to the slow onset of symptoms that can delay diagnosis.
You may experience any of the following symptoms:
· Gradual, severe back pain with limited mobility
· Swelling at the infection site
· Tenderness of the neck or back (early onset)
· Weakness, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs
Other Problems that Warrant a Revision Surgery
Your orthopedic surgeon may also recommend a revision spine surgery when you develop other problems such as the following:
- When there is a lack of solid bone fusion (when bones fail to heal into a single, solid bone)
- When you develop adjacent segment disease, a condition that causes two or more bones to lock together
- When you run into problems with the implanted hardware (when the implant gets loose or shifted)
- When you have a new spinal diagnosis (other than the one that prompted your initial spinal surgery)
Top-Notch Spine Surgery in Westlake and Avon, Ohio
Revisiting a surgical site where there are complications involves a very complex, multifaceted procedure, which should only be done by no less than a doctor who specializes in revision surgeries.
If you suspect that you’ve developed a problem associated with your recent spinal surgery, schedule an appointment with any one of our board-certified, highly skilled surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates. We will provide you with a thorough evaluation and an appropriate recommendation. If we find that a revision spine surgery is really necessary for your condition, we will put you under a comprehensive treatment program that includes diligent postoperative care and a total rehabilitation program to reduce the risks of complications.
Stop by any of our locations in Westlake and Avon, Ohio, or call us at (440) 892-1440 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to giving you the highest quality of orthopedic care!