Back surgery restores mobility and comfort for many patients — but not all of them, unfortunately. According to the American Association of Anesthesiologists, research shows that 20-40% of back surgery procedures are unsuccessful at achieving long-term relief for patients.
The statistic is sobering, and revision spine surgery to correct problems linked to previous unsuccessful back surgery is something that Dr. Benjamin Cohen performs regularly.
When patients consult with him about trying surgery again, it often feels like another gamble for them. Dr. Cohen is a highly respected board-certified neurosurgeon who builds relationships with patients rooted in trust and respect, and his expertise and willingness to talk through his reasoning behind recommending the procedure are reassuring.
It’s important to remember that there are various reasons for failed back surgery. It may surprise you to learn that often, pain returns after initial back surgery for reasons that are unrelated to your procedure.
If you’ve had back surgery that didn’t take, pain may return quickly or gradually. Delayed symptoms may indicate an infection or additional deterioration, while pain and fatigue that return soon after surgery can be due to nerve compression.
One of the most common reasons people need revision spine surgery is to relieve a pinched nerve root in their spinal column that becomes a problem after the first surgery. This condition is also known as radiculopathy, and the nerve problem can develop anywhere along your spine.
Radiculopathy is often caused by spinal stenosis, a condition you may have sought relief from with your first spinal surgery. Pain, numbness, weakness, and a “pins and needles” feeling are radiculopathy symptoms.
Revision spine surgery makes more room in your crowded spinal canal to decompress the pinched nerves.
Though revision spine surgery is more complex than original back surgery by its very nature, Dr. Cohen has extensive experience with performing minimally invasive revision spine surgery for pinched nerves.
He specializes in decompressive laminectomy, where he creates more space for your nerves by removing the top portion of the vertebra, and foraminotomy, which involves opening up the space where your nerves leave your spine.
Dr. Cohen favors minimally invasive surgical procedures for revision spine surgery and other procedures because of the clear advantages they offer patients. These include faster recovery time and less pain, bleeding, and scarring.
If you’re again suffering from pinched nerve pain as a result of back surgery that was unsuccessful, Dr. Cohen can help. Call us at 516-246-5008 to schedule an in-office or telemedicine consultation to learn more, or reach out to us through our website.