The spine is a complex and dynamic structure. Because of this, it sometimes takes more than one attempt to successfully treat a spinal condition through surgery. That’s where revision surgery comes in.
What is Spinal Revision Surgery?
In most cases, spinal revision surgery is performed to make adjustments based on anatomical changes that have taken place in the spine since the last surgery, or to improve the results from a prior surgery. It’s important to note that even the most talented and experienced surgeons may need a second try at effectively addressing a spinal deformity, since the spine is a living structure that is incredibly challenging to operate on.
In other cases, revision surgery is necessary because the patient has developed new symptoms related to their condition, scar tissue has formed around the incision, or the patient is experiencing post-surgical complications.
“Failed back surgery syndrome” is often used to summarize the various reasons why a patient may have back pain following their initial surgery.
Why is Spinal Revision Surgery Performed?
There are several problems and conditions that may make spinal revision surgery necessary. Here are just a few:
- Pseudoarthrosis – This term is used to describe a lack of bone fusion following a spinal fusion procedure. There are several factors that may contribute to this, including the patient’s initial diagnosis and the type of surgical materials installed.
- Recurring herniated discs – A discectomy is often performed to remove a damaged/herniated portion of a spinal disc, but sometimes, the remaining portion of the disc can also herniate and cause additional discomfort.
- Adjacent segment disease (ASD) – This condition occurs when the spinal joints above and/or below the original surgery site undergo anatomical changes.
- Problems with surgical implants – There are several types of materials that may be implanted into the spine, such as artificial discs, screws, rods, plates, and more. Sometimes, this hardware simply becomes uncomfortable and causes pain.
It can be incredibly frustrating to learn that you need yet another back surgery, but you’ll likely experience better results after a second try. Be sure to voice any concerns you may have about spinal revision surgery to your doctor and explore any nonsurgical treatments that may be available to you. With the right information, you’ll be able to make a confident decision about your spinal health.
Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine is proud to serve families in Wesley Chapel and Tampa, Florida.