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Causes and symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome refers to any painful condition that patients develop after neck or spinal surgery. The pain can be in the back, legs, arms or neck and impede the patient's ability to recover from surgery; other symptoms include back spasms, sleeplessness and numbness through the lower back and into the legs. Despite its name, FBSS does not necessarily imply that something went wrong during surgery. Patients in Arizona may want to know more about its possible causes and treatments.

It may be that a patient was never a good candidate for spinal surgery to begin with. Perhaps the doctor did not evaluate the patient thoroughly or misdiagnosed the condition. The second possibility is that a surgical error was committed. Open back surgery is invasive and can cause excessive blood loss or damage to nerve roots. Wrong-site surgery, a spinal fusion failure or the rejection of a bone graft can also lead to FBSS.

Complete therapeutic relief for FBSS is not possible. Anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications can alleviate pain; in some cases, patients may receive opioids and anti-depressants. This is usually complemented with ongoing physical therapy and chiropractic care. To block the pain signal in damaged nerve roots, doctors may recommend a nerve block. For serious cases of chronic pain, patients may consider spinal cord stimulation.

Surgical errors are a form of malpractice, so victims have the right to file a malpractice claim to be covered for all short- and long-term treatments that they have to undergo for their FBSS. It might take medical experts to show the extent of the injuries and of the necessary treatments; this is why having a lawyer with a network of such experts is often important. The lawyer may request an inquiry with the local medical board before proceeding to negotiations.

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Law Offices of Raymond J. Slomski, P.C.

2929 North Central Avenue Suite 700 Phoenix, AZ 85012 Phone: 602-635-7603 Fax: 602-230-8707 Phoenix Law Office Map