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Might Spinal Surgery Need to be Repeated?

We understand that undergoing a spinal procedure is a big decision and one that is not made lightly. Patients who are considering surgery are typically experiencing chronic or debilitating pain. The decision to have surgery rides on the hope of resolving a substantial degree of that pain. So, the prospect of needing another surgery in the future is often one that cannot be thoroughly absorbed at the time of an initial procedure. If you’ve had a spinal procedure and are not feeling the relief you had anticipated,  you may be in the position of exploring this now. We’re here to help.

Revision spinal surgery may be considered if pain is not resolved within three months of a procedure. Typically, by this time in a patient’s recovery, the repairs made to an affected spinal segment have done their job at reducing nerve compression and irritation. If pain recurs or persists, which may happen in the lumbar or cervical areas, a second procedure may be needed to address it.

A person may need revision spinal surgery for several reasons. These include hardware failure, infection, the re-herniation of a disc, instability, degeneration of an adjacent spinal segment, or spinal degeneration not related to the surgery that was performed. Dr. Lipani is an experienced surgeon who has performed many first surgeries and has also helped patients address ongoing pain after surgery at other institutions. He has corrected failed decompression procedures, failed, fusions, and failed artificial disc procedures.

Revision for Failed Fusion

Fusion failure is a common reason for revision spinal surgery. A fusion procedure may fail when the patient does not heal properly. This may happen when a chronic illness such as diabetes suppresses the immune system and decreases the body’s healing capability. A failure to fuse can result in hardware loosening within the bone. This causes instability in the repaired spinal segment. Another reason revision may be needed is that the level of the spine just above or below the fused area breaks down over time. Spinal instability or stenosis could also occur at these adjacent levels. To repair a failed fusion, a new bone graft may be implanted into the damaged area. An external bone growth stimulator may also be inserted to promote optimal bone formation around the graft. If instrumentation was placed in the initial procedure, it may be removed and replaced to facilitate the fusion of the new bone graft.

Do You Need Repeat Spine Surgery?

If you’ve had a spinal procedure and are continuing to experience pain or symptoms such as tingling and numbness, contact us. The best way to know how to proceed is to consult with a surgeon who has experience addressing potential surgical failures. To schedule a consultation at one of our offices in the Princeton, Somerset, Morristown, Union, and Bergen areas, call 609-890-3400.

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