Why is revision spinal surgery performed?
Revision spinal surgery is performed when the surgeon has to correct a previous surgery that did not alleviate pain in the spine, misdiagnosis, or the previous surgery created other complications.
Revision surgery, when indicated, is more complicated than “virgin” or first-time around spinal surgery. The anatomy is distorted, and some of the regional landmarks are often missing or altered. There is often extensive scarring of bone to the nerve, even within the nerves themselves. Prior placement of hardware (screws, rods, cages, or in other words, anything artificial) makes the re-operation even more complicated, as there are many different and often incompatible systems, various types of screws, and locking mechanisms.
Revisions require significant specialized skills, whether it’s going back in for a “simple” repeat diskectomy (with about 5-10 times the incidence of injury to the covering of the nerves, or the dura) or a more complicated spinal fusion revision or extension. Dr. Jenkins has pioneered and improved various techniques for managing these and other complications based on his training and experience.
How is revision spinal surgery performed?
Dr. Jenkins works collaboratively with many different specialists to ensure that he has assembled the best and most skilled team to tackle any challenge. Dr. Jenkins uses a team of neuro anesthesiologists and neurological critical care specialists who are experienced in the medical management of complicated spinal procedures. They are skilled in managing complex airways that often accompany spinal deformities and prior surgeries. These specialists are experts and have developed new techniques and protocols widely in use today. He also often, as the case dictates, collaborates surgically with various surgical specialists to optimize the patient’s experience and outcome.
What is the recovery process like?
The recovery process varies by patient. Dr. Jenkins lets patients know this upfront, as well as discusses what patients can expect during their recovery process after surgery.