What is a failed fusion?

What is a failed fusion?

Overview. After any spine surgery, a percentage of patients may still experience pain. This is called failed back or failed fusion syndrome, which is characterized by intractable pain and an inability to return to normal activities. Surgery may be able to fix the condition but not eliminate the pain.

What causes a failed fusion?

An instrumented fusion can fail if there is not enough support to hold the spine while it is fusing. Therefore, spinal hardware (e.g. pedicle screws) may be used as an internal splint to hold the spine while it fuses after spine surgery.

What can be done if a spinal fusion failed?

The condition only needs to be corrected if it isn’t providing the stability your spine needs to function normally. If you do have pain, you will need to re-stabilized the segment with additional instrumentation. In most cases this will require a new fusion, but some patients can be converted to a motion procedure.

How do I know if my spinal fusion has failed?

Symptoms may include chronic pain in the back, neck, or legs, which can be dull or sharp, aching, burning, or radiating. The pain may continue after surgery or reappear several days or weeks afterward. It can worsen as scar tissue builds in the spinal nerve roots, which extend from the spinal cord.

Can your spine curve after fusion?

Once the bone has fused, the abnormal section of the spine will not curve further. The instrumentation usually remains in the spine without causing problems.

What happens if a screw comes loose after spinal fusion?

Chappuis, the most common pedicle screws used by spine surgeons loosen or break over time. If pedicle screws loosen, it may result in new or worsening back pain, leading to failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).

Can failed back surgery be fixed?

Treatments. Treatment for failed back surgery syndrome may include physical therapy, nerve blocks, medications, injections, or a chronic pain management program. If the pain is possibly coming from the facet or sacroiliac joints, chiropractic care may be recommended.

Can you have a second spinal fusion?

A two-level fusion may be considered for patients with severe, disabling pain that occurs at two levels of the spine (e.g. L4-L5 and L5-S1), but only after extensive non-surgical and pain management approaches have been tried.

Can you undo a spinal fusion?

Light says that total disc replacement using a device called the ProDisc Implant can be beneficial for revision, or “reversal” of a previous spinal fusion as well as an alternative to fusion in the first place.

Can you redo a spinal fusion?

Introduction: Instrumented spinal fusion is a common procedure for patients with spinal deformity or degenerative wear-and-tear disorders. Today, most patients do well following spine surgery even 8 years after surgery but some will ultimately require a revision or a “re-do” of their primary surgery(1) .

Can you ruin a spinal fusion?

Can one bend ruin a spinal fusion? After undergoing spinal fusion, doctors advised that patients should avoid excessive bending, twisting, and straining to protect the fusion while it heals. You can ruin your spinal fusion if you bend excessively.