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Revision Spine Surgery

What is Revision Spine Surgery?

Revision Spine Surgery refers to any surgical procedure that is used to correct a failed neck or back surgery. By failed, we mean that the original surgery did not produce the intended results. If this makes you nervous, there is some good news: The vast majority of patients who receive scoliosis surgery will see positive results.

However, on rare occasions, a patient may experience chronic pain after surgery. When this happens, it does not necessarily mean that surgical error was to blame. In reality, many different factors can complicate kyphosis or scoliosis surgery. These issues may include:

  • Pseudarthrosis: Many patients with a spinal deformity will need a spinal fusion to reshape and re-stabilize their spine. Spinal fusion surgeries use a bone graft to fuse two side-by-side vertebrae together. If this bone graft fails to heal properly, the patient may experience pain, inflammation, stiffness, and/or pinched nerves.
  • Adjacent Segment Degeneration: In 3% of individuals, the segments on either side of the spinal fusion site will weaken after surgery. This process occurs over the course of many years and can cause problems such as degenerative disc disease or slipped vertebrae (spondylolisthesis).
  • Implant Migration: Hardware (like screws and rods) used during the procedure can slacken over time and drift away from the bone. If an implant presses against the spinal cord, spinal stenosis (or narrowing of the spinal canal) may occur.
  • Crankshaft Phenomenon: This occurs when the posterior (or back side) of the spine was fused, but the front portion of the spine continued to grow. This causes vertebrae to pivot on their axis and the spine to twist to the side. Patients with crankshaft phenomenon may develop a rib hump.
  • Spine Conditions: Failed surgical procedures often result in herniated discs, slipped vertebrae (or spondylolisthesis), infections, or pinched nerves from scar tissue buildup.

What are the Symptoms of a Failed Scoliosis Surgery?

You may need revision spinal surgery if you experience any of the following symptoms after spine surgery:

  • Chronic pain in the affected area (above or below the fusion site)
  • New pain that was not present before the surgery
  • Signs of nerve pain, including radiating pain that travels into the limbs
  • Slow healing or redness at the surgical site
  • Stiffness that interferes with your daily activities
  • Back, neck, or muscle spasms

If this sounds like you, and milder treatment options have failed to deliver results, you may need revision spine surgery.

What are the Advantages of Revision Spine Surgery?

If your first procedure didn’t work, undergoing a second surgical procedure probably doesn’t sound exciting. However, advances in spine surgery tools and technology have paved the way for minimally invasive surgical techniques. The benefits of revision spine surgery now include:

  • Accurate Diagnostics: Improvements in 3-D imaging techniques allow your surgeon to reach a more accurate diagnosis of your condition.
  • Finer Instruments: Smaller surgical tools enable your surgeon to accomplish procedures with the utmost precision, resulting in smaller incision sizes and less scarring.
  • Speedy Recovery: Because minimally invasive techniques involve minimal trauma to the surrounding tissues of your spine, you can heal more quickly.
  • Short Hospital Stays: Some revision procedures can be performed as outpatient, or same day, surgeries. However, most revision procedures will require only a short hospital stay of 1-3 days.

No one should have to live with the burden of a failed scoliosis or kyphosis surgery. To achieve the relief that you deserve, contact the Lowenstein team. Dr. Jason Lowenstein specializes in complex spine revision procedures and has earned his reputation as America’s premier scoliosis expert. To begin your relief journey, contact the Lowenstein team today!

Do I qualify for Revision Spine Surgery?

Not sure if you qualify for revision spine surgery? Good candidates will have any of the symptoms described above, including chronic pain or joint stiffness. In addition, interested patients will have tried at least six months of mild treatments before choosing surgery.

However, not every patient will qualify for this procedure. If you have weak bones from osteoporosis or allergies to the surgical tools, this route may not be right for you. In addition, patients with heart problems may not be able to undergo surgery. To find out if you qualify, contact Dr. Jason Lowenstein today! Dr. Lowenstein’s team of spine experts will assess your spine health and get you back on the path to scoliosis relief!