How We Can Help
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Treatment Information
We provide comprehensive treatment options to alleviate your pain from failed back surgery syndrome, including:
- Pain medicines. Both narcotic and non-narcotic pain medicines help with pain following back surgery. Your physician will likely have you try non-narcotic pain medicines first to see if they can manage your pain. Narcotic medicines have an increased risk of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and dependency, so you should take these medicines exactly as your physician prescribes.
- Injection therapy. Steroid injections directly into the affected parts of your spine reduce inflammation and pain. We provide safe steroid injections in our offices. Before your injection, a local anesthetic is applied to the area on your back. Steroids offer long-lasting relief, but may have side effects such as elevated blood pressure and weight gain. Contact your physician for directions if you experience side effects. Steroid injections can be repeated if necessary for further pain relief.
- Nerve stimulation. Nerve stimulation uses electrical pulses to disrupt pain signals in your nerves. Because the signals do not reach the brain, you do not experience pain. Your physician may test you to see if nerve stimulation offers pain relief by temporarily placing small wires, called electrodes, into your affected nerves. The electrodes are connected to a generator that sends electrical pulses into the nerve. If nerve stimulation works, you begin experiencing pain relief within 15 minutes. The generator and wires are implanted into your torso during an outpatient surgical procedure so you experience more convenient, long term pain relief. The procedure can be reversed.
- Intrathecal pain pump. . A pain pump automatically dispenses small doses of pain medicine directly into your spinal fluid at scheduled times. Smaller doses are used with this direct method, which reduces your risk of side effects usually associated with pain medicines. Pain pumps are implanted into your torso during a short outpatient surgical procedure. A thin tube connects the pump to your spinal cord. Every few weeks you will need to visit your physician to have the pump refilled. If you no longer need pain management, the pump can be removed.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy assists you in reducing pain, improving function and helping you recover from surgery. Physical therapists use a variety of treatment options, such as exercise, stretching and massage. You may be able to have physical therapy in your home or you can visit an outpatient center. Your therapist may ask you to do exercises at home. For maximum pain relief, you should always follow your therapist’s directions.
- Antidepressants. Chronic pain can cause depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, these conditions may make pain worse or keep your pain treatments from being fully effective. Your physician may prescribe antidepressants to improve your quality of life and increase the effectiveness of your pain medicine. Talk to your physician if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
- Psychological counseling. You may also benefit from meeting with a psychologist or psychiatrist to discuss your depression or anxiety. Counseling teaches you strategies for coping with pain and helps you work through emotions related to your chronic pain. You can also be referred to support groups for people who experience chronic pain so you can share with others who understand what you are going through. All of these services may maximize the benefit of your pain treatments.
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Locations & Physicians
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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Support Services
Learn more about physical therapy’s role in pain relief by visiting the website below:
A Sampling of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Support Services
IU Health Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
Find out how IU Health physical therapists can help you by visiting our Rehabilitation website
American Chronic Pain Association
This website helps you get ready for your appointment with communication tools you can use to accurately describe your condition to your doctor.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
This journal of the AAOS provides information on failed back surgery syndrome and diagnostic evaluation.