Failed Back Syndrome – Introduction
Continuing chronic back pain followed by numerous back surgeries is a worse case scenario that could happen to a patient after multiple treatments for a herniated disc or other back programs. This condition is called failed back syndrome. A medical professional will diagnose to see if you suffer from this medical condition. The usual methods such as Xrays, CT scans, MRI’s will be used. Contributing causes include repeat disc herniations, fibrosis, joint hypermobility and instability. Sleep problems and general depression and anxiety are onset with a lower quality of life due to the medical condition. People more susceptible to failed back syndrome include those who smoke, suffer from diabetes and autoimmune diseases, and those who continue to not take adequate rest and recovery procedures after back surgeries.
Failed Back Syndrome – Causes
One of the main causes of failed back syndrome is a disc herniated that is repeated over and over again. Discs that are partially removed due to surgery never reach there old strength and it can become a problem if re-injury and persistent scaring occurs. A herniated disc can also cause another disc to become herniated because the overall back is weaker and more prone to injury and/or re-injury. This is why it is important in herniated disc recovery to keep up physical therapy well after a patient believes they’re healed. It is better to be safe then sorry. Failed surgeries to treat spinal stenosis is another cause of failed back syndrome. Spinal stenosis is a irregular and smaller spinal column and can result in many complications after failed surgery. Spinal stenosis can occur as a late complication of laminectomy surgery.
Failed Back Syndrome – Treatment options
Treatment options for failed back syndrome include physical therapy, nerve blocks, antidepressants, and anti-inflammatory medicines. Life changing habits such as losing weight, using proper lifting techniques, and general exercise may also help relieve symptoms. Sometimes if pain is disabling and intolerable then narcotics may be recommended to the patient by a medical professional. And often these medications are used for life to deal with the pain.
Total disc replacement has been considered as a treatment option in the United States in late 2004 with the approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration. This medical practice was met with great expectations, however it failed to meet them with various failure rates. Total disc replacement continues to receive mixed criticism and skepticism of its effectiveness.
Patients suffering with sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc will have a much less chance of developing failed back syndrome compared to those who simply suffer from chronic back pain due to other conditions and lifestyle habits. However, surgery can be disappointing if the exact nerve root that is being pinched can not be relieved from pressure.
Failed back syndrome can be prevented if surgery is only used as a very last resort for back injury’s. It is advised to take a lot of rest after surgery to prevent complications. Like a workout program, rehabilitation such as physical therapy needs to stay consistent. Using a foam roller can help break up scar tissue.