Unfortunately, failed back surgery has become a "syndrome". To learn more about Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, click here
I found an interesting article to share as well. Dr. Gabe Mirkin of www.drmirkin.com wrote a blog titled: Why Back Surgery Fails So Often
. WIth his permission, I am passing this along. More research is needed, of course, but it's something to think about with unresolved back pain.
Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
July 18, 2010
Why Back Surgery Fails So Often
Researchers from Duke University show that back pain is
usually caused by a person's immunity attacking the disc in the
same way that it attacks invading germs, not by a broken disc
pressing on a nerve (Arthritis & Rheumatism, July 2010). They
found that people with back pain associated with damaged discs
have high levels of Interleukin-17, produced by your immune
lymphocytes and known to cause asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and
other autoimmune diseases.
The natural history of back pain from "disc disease"
usually starts after you hurt your back. You often appear to
recover after several weeks or months of pain. However, the
back pain can recur any time later, even many years after your
original back problem.
The bones of your spine are separated by pads called
discs . When you hurt your back, you can crack the outer layers
of a disc, so the softer inner layers protrude through the cracks
into the spinal canal. The softer inner layers of a disc normally
are not exposed to the immune system. So the human immune
system does not recognize it as self and attacks it in the same
way that it attacks invading bacteria and viruses. The protruding
inner portions of the disc then swell to press against nearby
nerves to cause pain. This research implies that the immune
reaction that attacks the protruding broken inner portion of the
disc causes the disc to swell and press on nerves. The authors
feel that the pain is not caused primarily by broken pieces of
a disc pressing on nerves so it is incorrect to use the common
term "slipped disc".
If this is true, future treatment for disc disease would
be to inhibit the lymphocytes that make interleukin-17. This would
allow the treatment to reduce pain without blocking the body's
ability to prevent infections and tumors. Either way, surgery for
"disc disease of the back" has among the highest failure rates of
any surgery today.