October 21, 2021

Still In Pain After Having Back Surgery

back pain surgery

Even though back surgery is pitched as a magic cure at times, results have shown lower than acceptable success rates

Every year more than 600,000 people turn to back surgery as a relief from pain, but many experts and surgeons say surgery is sometimes holds an empty promise. Nancy Scatena was one of those, looking for relief, and never found it.

Scatena had back surgery yet within one month after surgery, the excruciating pain was back. Finally she made another appointment with another surgeon who said he could fix the problem. He fused two of her discs together and the pain was gone, only to return later.

According to a new study in the journal Spine, some surgeries can completely backfire leaving patients in more pain than before.

Records from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’  Compensation showed that 1,450 people had degenerated disc disease, disc herniation or radiculopathy. Of that group of people, half chose not to have surgery at all, while the other half chose to fuse two or more vertebrae together.

Two years later, 67 percent of those that did not have surgery went back to work. Of those that had gone through with the surgery, only 27 percent were able to go back to work. Not only that, but those that chose surgery had a 41 percent increase in painkillers following their surgery.

The study, done by Dr. Trang Nguyen, showed that fusion surgeries for those with degenerative disc disease does not work.

Even though there continue to be bad outcomes with these types of surgeries, fusion surgery is on the rise. This has many surgeons and health experts concerned.

Patients need to know that there is no easy solution and they need to scale back their expectations if they do choose to have surgery.

As for Scatena, she has learned ways to take care of her body, to baby her back. She continues on with physical therapy in hopes of getting relief.