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Failed Back Surgery: Explore Your Options

Continuing to experience back pain after having surgery to resolve the problem is a frustrating issue. Surgery to resolve back pain isn’t always successful, and after failed back surgery you might continue to experience back pain, or the pain could even come back later, after initially appearing to be resolved.

After failed back surgery, board-certified pain management specialist Ajit Pai, MD, FIPP, offers many minimally invasive treatments that can provide relief for your back pain. Learn what treatment options Dr. Pai offers at Pain Management Group, LLC that ensure you won’t need to continue to live with permanent back pain.

What is failed back surgery?

If you got back surgery, it was most likely to resolve back pain and get pain relief. Unfortunately, back pain surgery isn’t always successful. If your pain continues after surgery or returns, you might have failed back surgery syndrome.

Back surgery can fail for a number of different reasons. Sometimes, it doesn’t fully decompress a nerve in your back or stabilize a joint. Other times, you can develop a buildup of scar tissue as a result of the surgery, or the surgery itself can cause nerve damage through technical errors or other unknown factors.

Diagnosing failed back surgery

If your back pain hasn’t improved a few months after getting back surgery, or your pain comes back at a later point after surgery, make an appointment for an evaluation with Dr. Pai. He evaluates your pain to determine if it comes from failed back surgery or another cause.

To determine the cause of your back pain, Dr. Pai executes tests such as a physical examination, watching you perform certain movements, and getting blood work. He might also look at your surgical report to get a comprehensive understanding of the surgery you received.

Failed back surgery treatment options

Each patient with failed back surgery is unique, so Dr. Pai develops a unique, minimally invasive treatment plan to relieve your pain. These are some of the most common treatments Dr. Pai recommends:

HF10® spinal cord stimulator (SCS)

The cutting-edge SCS is a long-lasting pain management treatment that sends mild electrical currents to your spine, preventing your body from receiving any signals of pain. Dr. Pai inserts the SCS into your back by your spinal cord. The device lasts for 10 years.

Epidural steroid injections (ESI)

ESI relieves pain by reducing the inflammation in your back and surrounding areas, such as the neck and lower legs. After getting the injection, you can expect to start to improve within a few days.

Physical therapy and stretches

Your physical therapy and stretching program offers back pain relief by restoring the flexibility in your back, making your back stronger, and reducing inflammation. Along with attending physical therapy appointments, Dr. Pai can prescribe a stretching routine for you to do at home.

Pain medication

Taking oral pain medication reduces pain by relieving inflammation or elevating your body’s pain threshold. Over-the-counter NSAIDs and acetaminophen work for many back pain patients, or Dr. Pai can prescribe other pain medications.

Nerve blocks

A nerve block is an injection that stops pain from inflammation, nerve damage, or spinal stenosis. Dr. Pai administers the injection at his office at Pain Management Group, LLC. You usually stop feeling pain right after the injection.

After failed back surgery, you don’t need to continue to live with the pain you’re experiencing. To find solutions and therapies that work, contact the team by phone at Pain Management Group, LLC, in Mishawaka, Indiana, to schedule your initial appointment.

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