Failed Surgery Pain: When The Discomfort Comes Back

Black and white photo of a muscular man with a backache. Red selective color further illustrates pain. Cause of failed surgery.

There is probably no way to console you if you underwent extensive surgery for back, knee, or other problems hoping to regain functionality and reduce pain. If you then end up with more pain than you had before the surgery, failed surgery pain is horrible. If you are distraught about this idea, we understand how you feel.

The surgeon does not have to make a mistake for failed surgery syndrome. Not all surgeries work out well. Some surgeries are risky and have significant failures. Patients hope for the best, but sometimes it is impossible to succeed. We only recommend surgery as a last resort.

When you have pain after failed surgery, you may feel hopeless. The idea of undergoing another surgery may be terrifying. The pain, expenses, taking time off from work, etc., are all serious challenges. In some cases, another surgery may not even improve your condition. Before the surgery, please consult us for alternatives that may help with recovery and pain management.

Types of Surgeries with High Fail Rates

Patients do not know that many types of surgery have extreme risks. At the Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers, we see many cases of failed surgery.

Here are a few examples of surgery with high failure rates:

Woman suffers form hip sore after getting a failed hip replacement surgery
  • Hiatal Hernia: A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach passes the large muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest and sticks out.
  • Hip Replacement: Some hip replacements use a ball and cup style for the metallic parts. In hip resurfacing, a metallic cup fits over the ball of the hip bone. Another metallic cup goes into the connecting portion of the hip bone to create a new hip socket and joint. These metal parts can fail.
  • Knee Replacement: There are many failures after knee surgery when the replacement parts stop working properly.
  • Organ Transplants/Skin Grafts: A skin graft or organ may come from a dead person's body or a living donor. The body's immune system may reject foreign tissues. Immunosuppressants taken to reduce the rejection rate may cause opportunistic infections when the immune system is not fully functioning.
  • Spinal Surgery: More than half of spinal disc surgeries fail. Failed surgery pain might be the result, with about 10% experiencing more pain after surgery.

Is pain common after orthopedic surgery?

Man sitting on a clinic bed after getting a orthopedic surgery

The chances of feeling pain after surgery are 100%. Regular pain from orthopedic surgery is expected and managed with painkillers. It is common to have pain after this type of surgery depending on how extensive the surgery was if there were any complications, and how long it took to perform the surgery.

How long does the pain last?

For some patients, recovery takes a few weeks. For others, it may take many months to recover fully. The length of pain you experience depends on the extent of the surgery and your physical condition going into the surgery. If you have other health problems, the pain may be more intense.

If your overall health is good, you may be able to go home within a day or two after the surgery and fully recover quickly by resting at home. If your overall health is poor, you may need a specialized recovery plan with plenty of physical therapy and pain management to get back to normal.

Chiropractor is having a consultation with a patient regarding a surgery

How can I tell if the surgery failed?

The most obvious reason that you might have a problem with failed surgery syndrome is experiencing significantly more pain after failed surgery. If you have intense pain and mobility problems, you may want to consult with us to get a second opinion.

Does the pain worsen?

In the regular course of recovery, pain may worsen temporarily. It would be best if you did not injure the area where you had surgery. A slip and fall after back surgery can cause significant problems.

Consult Our Experts in Greater Houston

At the Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers, we can help with failed surgery pain. We are known for having the best diagnostic methods in the Houston area. We have multiple locations for your convenience in Cypress, Houston, and The Woodlands.

Contact us to schedule a personalized MRI review by our Chief of Staff -  Dr. Yezak.

Dr. Mark Yezak
Mark Yezak, BS, DC, is the founder, chiropractic director, and chief of staff at Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers. Offering 25 years of experience. Dr. Yezak is a published author of research papers, books, and journal entries. He is undoubtedly a leader in his field.
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