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Understanding Failed back Surgery Syndrome

Dec 7, 2016 | Surgical Errors

New York residents who have had spinal surgery may be aware of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. It is a term that refers to the condition of continuous pain, and is not meant to indicate that an error occurred during a surgery. The residual pain in the back or leg can lessen over time, but it may not completely dissipate. It can also worsen a few months after the surgery because of the formation of scar tissue around the spinal nerve root.

One of the primary causes of the chronic pain is that the patient may not have been the best candidate for the procedure. Errors in diagnosing or an insufficient pre-surgery physical assessment may have contributed to the patient undergoing the procedure, which can create a new host of symptoms. Another reason is that the surgery may have been performed incorrectly. Traditional open back surgery is an extremely invasive procedure. Damage can occur to a nerve root, or an extensive loss of blood can make it difficult to perform the surgery with the required precision.

Common causes of FBSS may include bone graft rejection, fusion hardware failure and postoperative infections. Surgery performed on the wrong part of the spine, compression of a nerve root by scar tissue and the inadequate decompression of affected nerves can also contribute to FBSS. In addition to the continuous pain, an individual with FBSS may experience back spasms, anxiety, restricted mobility and the inability to fully recuperate. Treatment for the condition may require physical therapy, opioid prescription or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Not allSurgical errors constitute medical malpractice. An attorney representing a patient who has been harmed after a procedure must be able to demonstrate that the practitioner failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care, and this could be supported by the opinions of medical experts.