Failed Back Surgery

There are over 500,000 back surgeries each year in the United States, and half of those are spinal fusions. Spinal fusions are characterized by the placement of metal rods in order to stabilize the spine.

However, there is little clinical evidence to suggest that fusions are any better for patients than the less complicated, less invasive and less serious laminectomies. Even laminectomies, which are most often performed to correct spinal stenosis, have a higher-than-average failure rate compared to other types of surgery.

Interventional pain medicine includes new therapies that may allow more immediate, long-term relief to patients than drugs, physical therapy or chiropractic manipulation alone. These therapies, including spinal cord stimulators and facet blocks, offer alternatives to costly, often debilitating back surgery.

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)

When spine surgery does not resolve a spinal pain problem or it creates an even greater problem for the patient, as is too often the case according to recent studies, it is called failed back surgery syndrome.

Clinical studies have revealed that the most common reason for failed back surgeries is failure to correctly diagnose and treat lateral spinal stenosis (LSS). LSS is a condition that includes disc and annular protrusion, facet hypertrophy and spur formation.

So it helps to see a pain management specialist who is also an experienced diagnostician. Such a physician is Kenneth C. Lewis, MD. In addition to being a board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Lewis is renowned as an excellent diagnostician. He has helped many patients avoid back surgery entirely.

Get the compassionate help you need. If you are agonizing over the decision of whether or not to have invasive spine surgery, see Dr. Lewis first. He will work with you to find the most effective way to treat your pain. He welcomes and encourages your referrals. To schedule an appointment, please call our office at (970) 858-2562 or use our online Request an Appointment form. For additional information on any condition, treatment or procedure, please visit our Health Education Library.