As some New Yorkers may know, the outcome of spinal surgery may not always be perfect. In fact, some surgeries result in continuing pain. This is called failed back surgery syndrome. The cause may be linked to inadequate evaluation of the patient for surgery, misdiagnosis or errors made by the surgeon.
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome refers to spinal surgery that results in chronic pain. The pain may be at the same site, may be reduced from the original pain experienced by the sufferer or it may be at another segmental division of the spinal cord.
One of the chief causes of this syndrome is failure to properly evaluate and discern whether the patient is a good candidate for the surgery. Problems during and after surgery are other primary causes of FBSS. These can include wrong-site surgery, post-operative infection, failure of medical hardware used during the surgery or rejection of a bone graft. Infection after the surgery may also result in FBBS.
The symptoms that a patient experiences include pain that is described as sharp or stabbing, numbness or pain that radiates down the legs from the back, spasms in the back and pain at another level of the spine. This syndrome also may make it difficult for the patient to recuperate and limit mobility. FBSS may initiate feelings of anxiety leading to depression. Sleep is often disturbed as well. After determining why FBSS occurred, treatment involves physical therapy, electrical stimulation using a TENS unit, pain medication or the use of epidural steroid injections.
Surgical errors may be the cause of FBSS and result in the patient's inability to work. It may also result in medical bills and the need for long-term care. An attorney may review medical records with the help of expert opinion and file a lawsuit to recover damages.