Back Pain After Surgery: Causes And 3 Medical Procedures To Manage

Sometimes, despite the best medical attention and the best surgical options, it is possible that you still feel the pain in the back. Known as a Failed Back Syndrome or a Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, severe back pain after surgery can also interrupt with your daily routine.

Causes Of Post-Operative Back Pain

There are various reasons that could contribute to your pain after a back surgery. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Your spinal nerve root has not recovered completely after the surgery.
  • Your body may develop scar tissues, which end up surrounding the nerve root and lead to pain.
  • Some structural changes can occur in the spinal area as a result of the surgery, which can also cause pain.
  • In some cases, the ligament of the spinal area could become instable, leading to pain.


Diagnosing the back pain in time will help you treat it with the best possible results. A pain management doctor can help you identify the exact cause of pain and treat it successfully.

Your pain management doctor will help you in the following ways:

  • Do a full clinical examination of your overall health.
  • Go through your entire medical history as well as understand your symptoms.
  • May ask you to go for an X-ray, MRI or CT scan, as required. In some cases, your doctor may also ask you to go for an electro-diagnosis (EMG).

Using these options will help your doctor identify the root cause of the pain, and treat it effectively.

3 Treatment Options For Back Pain After Surgery

After the diagnosis, here are a few treatment options you may be asked to go for:

1. Epidural Nerve Blocks

  • An epidural nerve block is an injection that contains the corticosteroid medication. Your doctor will inject this in the epidural space in your spinal area. The injection will help reduce inflammation and pain that is caused due to reasons such as spinal stenosis.
  • It can help to offer relief from pain without the need of any further surgery. The medical team will first administer local anesthesia to the area and then insert a spinal needle in the spinal column. The entire procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes, after which your doctor will keep you in the hospital for some time for observation.
  • Your doctor will most likely give you 3 shots of the same within 6 months of starting the injections. The number of injections you need will depend on how much relief you get. This form of treatment is generally very effective, and you can start seeing results as early as within 2 days of taking the shot. When combined with physiotherapy, you can easily get rid of the pain.

2. Hip Joint Injections

  • A hip joint injection is one that will mainly treat any hip related pain, and will also effectively ease the lower back pain.
  • For the procedure, the area has to be numbed first, and only then treatment can begin. As a result, your doctor will first diagnose the severity of pain and the affected area. If you do not feel any pain when your hip joint is numb, it means it is the cause of the pain. The doctor will then begin an effective treatment plan.
  • Your doctor will use an injection that contains corticosteroid. It will help to reduce any inflammation and give you long-term results. It is a simple procedure that takes only about 20 to 30 minutes, and you will be released soon after observing your reaction to the same. You may feel soreness in the area for the first 2 to 3 days, but it will go away soon with some rest. This treatment can give you long-term benefits.

3. Spinal Cord Stimulation

  • It is a surgical procedure, in which a small device will be implanted in the affected area. This device will send out small amounts of electric current to the spinal area that is affected, and will help reduce pain.
  • The stimulation of the current will interrupt the pain that you feel. Instead, it will make it feel as if you are just experiencing a tingling sensation, a medical term known as paresthesia. Initially, the doctors will implant a temporary device to see your bodyäó»s response to the same. If your body is comfortable with the implant, the doctor will then remove the temporary device and implant the permanent one.
  • The trial takes about 30 to 45 minutes, after which there will be a short observation time and you will be sent home. For the long-term implant, the surgeon will do the procedure, which takes about 2 to 3 hours. This is a reversible procedure, in which the surgeon will remove the device once you are fully healed.

Most treatment options work best with a parallel physiotherapy session. To know more, book an appointment with our professionals now.

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