Most of the time, neck surgery is an extremely effective operation. Especially if it is done from the front of the neck and involves a one or two level fusion procedure. Successful results are 90% plus afterwards.
However, a significant percentage of the time, people get a great result initially and then end up dealing with new neck and or arm pain later on. Why does it occur and what can be done about it?
There are three main reasons why new neck pain occurs after an initially successful surgery. The first of these reasons is hardware failure due to lack of a fusion actually occurring.
Modern neck surgery involves placing either cadaver bone or some sort of biologic substance to fuse the two bones together being operated on. There are still some surgeons who will put in bone into the neck that is taken from the hip region. Either way hardware is put in including screws and plates to hold the bones in place while they fuse together. if the bones do not fuse and the stabilizing hardware continues to take all the stresses with bending and twisting in a movements of the neck, it can break over time from metal fatigue.
If the hardware breaks and the fusion did not occur, the patient may see increased movement at the area which causes dramatically increased pain. Treatment for this may involve another surgery, or if it is simply hardware that is loose pain management may be in order to give the bones more time to fuse. Treatment with one of the pain management doctors in Florida in conjunction with a surgeon will help delineate the best treatment course.
The second major reason that a person has increased neck pain after surgery is because of adjacent segment degeneration. When two levels of the spine are fused together, no more stresses can be absorbed through that level. The disk space is gone and the stresses either go up or down to the adjacent Levels to absorb. They can then experience the generation, arthritis and pain due to these increased stresses.
Adjacent segment degeneration after neck fusion surgery has been shown to occur at an incidence of 3% per year. Over time adding up 3% per year means that a significant amount of people will experience pain due to the levels above or below the fusion degenerating.
Thankfully, modern pain management has evolved to the point where most people with adjacent segment degeneration can be treated nonoperatively. Treatments may include pain medication, physical therapy, injection procedures, radiofrequency ablation or chiropractic treatment.
The third major reason that people experience pain after an initially successful next surgery is due to scar tissue. When surgery is performed, the tissue that is taken away leaves a void in the body. The body fills this in with scar tissue which a person really doesn’t need or want. It can then envelop nerve roots and create significant arm pain as a result. If the surgeon goes back in and removes the scar tissue, the arm pain may or may not go away, but scar tissue will again fill in the area.
It is because of this that repeat surgery is not always the best answer. Pain management with either medications or injections or possibly a spinal cord stimulator may be the best way to keep the pain under control and avoid the potential complications and more scar tissue from a repeat surgery.
These are the main reasons why a person more have new neck pain after surgery was performed that was successful at the beginning. Whether it occurs a few months or a few years after that procedure is going to vary, but it is very common. Most of the time Florida pain clinics can treat this non-operably, and there are plenty of Florida pain clinics in the network to choose from.
The Florida pain network combines those in pain with pain relievers. This includes pain management doctors and clinics throughout the state, chiropractors and physical therapy practices. Whether you need a pain management Orlando clinic, a pain management Tampa clinic or a pain management West Palm Beach clinic, there are plenty to choose from in these areas and more.