Failed back Surgery Syndrome

A look at Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

We all know that low back pain in north America is a bit of an epidemic – with over 90% of people experiencing low back pain in their lifetime.

 A study in the journal of pain research looked at people who had surgery for low back pain and interviewed  them within 10 years of the first surgery – 94% of people who underwent surgery still have pain with in that 10 year period, and 20% underwent a second surgery.

So 94% of those who do surgery still have pain afterwards and failed back surgery syndrome occurs in 21% of those who have surgery.

Another study done in JMPT in 2010 Titled “Manipulation or microdiscectomy for sciatica”

Tells us not to skip over chiropractic care prior to looking at surgery.

This study looked at those heading for surgery only after doing 3 months of physiotherapy which failed to help. (don’t get me wrong – I believe that physio is great and strengthening is important)

So what they did is to take those who did not improve with physio and had them do chiropractic manipulation. 

The study found “Most surgical candidates who underwent chiropractic manipulation improved to the same degree as surgical patients”,and those who did not improve with Chiropractic did well with surgery.

So what this is saying is that most people considering surgery will respond just as well with chiropractic as they will with surgery without the tremendous increased risk of surgery, and a tremendous increase in cost with surgical intervention.

This also pre-sceens those who don’t respond to conservative care, and indeed need surgery.

Prevalence, characteristics, and burden of failed back surgery syndrome: the influence of various residual symptoms on patient satisfaction and quality of life as assessed by a nationwide Internet survey in Japan. Journal of Pain Research. 2017

Manipulation or microdiscectomy for sciatica.  JMPT 2010

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YYC Sport and Spine