Revision Spine Surgery

Revision Spine Surgery Overview

Revision spine surgery is a rarely performed procedure that treats an unsuccessful spine surgery. Most revision spine surgeries are now performed minimally invasively so there is little to no post-procedure pain, recovery or downtime.

Below are some examples of what a revision spinal surgery can be used for:

  • Scar tissue from around the incision
  • Unsuccessful surgery
  • Surgery at the wrong location
  • Surgery in non-eligible patients
  • Improper diagnosis
  • Post-surgical complications

Failed back syndrome, or failed back surgery is a condition in which persistent back pain is present following back surgery. The goal of revision spinal surgery is to reduce pain and resume normal activities. 

What are the advantages of Revision Spine Surgery?

If your first procedure didn’t work, having another surgery doesn’t sound all that appealing, however, advances in technology today means there are some advantages to consider for revision surgery. These advantages include:


  • Accurate Diagnostics – Improvements in 3D imaging techniques allows your doctors to come up with a more accurate diagnosis
  • Better Instruments – Smaller surgical tools allow your surgeon to accomplish procedures with high precision, which allows for smaller incisions and less scarring
  • Speedy Recovery – Due to its minimally invasive technique, revision surgery recovery calls for less time due to less trauma
  • Short Hospital Stays – Some revision procedures can be performed as an outpatient, or day surgery, but most revision surgeries will require only a short hospital stay of 1 to 3 days

How is revision spine surgery performed?

Revision spine surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under IV or oral sedation. Commonly performed minimally invasive procedures include:

  • Nerve block
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Pain pump implant

Medications and physical therapy are also commonly prescribed.

What conditions does revision spine surgery treat?

Reasons, why spine surgery may not be successful, are:

  • Bone does not fuse properly
  • Disc herniation
  • Hardware and implant failures
  • Medical conditions (diabetes, autoimmune disorders, peripheral artery disease)
  • Scar tissue formation

Symptoms that improve after revision spine surgery include:

  • Spine pain
  • Nerve pain

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