In the United States, over 600,000 low back surgeries are performed each year, and the number rises every decade. Most of these procedures are elective, and 25 to 40% end up failing within two years. In fact, 10% of those undergoing low back surgery and up worse than they were preoperatively. When this occurs, it is called failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). Assuming additional surgery is not indicated, what can a person do to achieve pain relief?
In fact, there are several nonoperative treatment options at Phoenix pain management centers that can help individuals get back to work, recreational activities and playing with the kids again. Let’s break the options down into medications, therapy and interventional procedures. There are several medication options such as anti-inflammatories, Tylenol, narcotics, muscle relaxers or non-narcotic pain relievers. Long term narcotics are always a tricky subject when it comes to failed back surgery syndrome, however, at times it is actually indicated. Tramadol is a non-narcotic pain reliever that may be a lifesaver in these situations.
Prescription pain creams or pain patches may provide exceptional relief with absolutely minimal absorption into the bloodstream. Therapy options include physical therapy for stretching and strengthening along with modalities including ultrasound or electrical stimulation. Chiropractic treatment and possibly spinal decompression therapy may be indicated along with application of a tens unit and possibly acupuncture.
When it comes to interventional procedures, there are several options available. One would be epidural steroid injections. If the patient is suffering from scar tissue around the nerve root or possibly a pinched nerve at the level above or below a spinal fusion, an epidural injection may provide exceptional relief and can be repeated every so often as necessary.
If a person has hardware in place, injections around the hardware can be performed to see if in fact the hardware is causing some of the pain. This is very simple and only takes a few minutes. Trigger point injections are subcutaneous injections into muscle tissue that can relieve muscle spasms and aching.
Facet joint injections, medial branch blocks and radiofrequency ablation are several procedures that can be very beneficial for areas above or below spinal fusions that have generated since the procedure. The top pain clinics in Phoenix offer these procedures with Board Certified providers.
Undergoing additional surgery for adjacent segment the generation is no fun since it typically doesn’t stop with an add on procedure. If it can be avoided with nonoperative treatments then that is the best option. Radiofrequency ablation procedure can provide up to 18 months of continuous pain relief and be repeated when the pain returns.
As a last resort, spinal cord stimulator has been shown to work well over 75% of the time for chronic back or leg pain. These procedures have been revolutionary for pain management and failed back surgery syndrome in particular. They don’t fix the problem, but if it cannot be rectified with additional surgery then one may as well mask the pain to achieve relief.
What the implant does is change the pain in the back or the leg with a tingling type of sensation that is much more tolerable than chronic pain. The newest spinal cord implants have over 200 programming options available. They have a battery that is rechargeable from outside the skin
All in all, there are well over 10 different options for achieving relief when it comes to failed back surgery syndrome. It is not necessary to despair, as the top pain management clinics offer these options with exceptional results. Arizona Pain offers exceptional success rates for those with failed back surgery syndrome at several locations throughout Phoenix. Most insurance is accepted, call (602) 507-6550 for more information and scheduling with pain management Phoenix trusts!