Skip to main content

Revision Surgery

What is revision surgery?

Revision spinal surgery is a procedure undertaken when an initial spine surgery has not achieved the expected outcome, or when the spine has exhibited changes over time leading to new or persistent symptoms. In most cases, spinal surgeries are highly successful and transformative treatment options. However, in rare circumstances, chronic back pain and irritation can still linger afterward, which is known as failed back surgery syndrome. 

Revision surgery may involve correcting or modifying a previous surgical site, such as adjusting or replacing hardware, decompressing nerves, or addressing any new spinal issues that have arisen at the levels adjacent to your prior surgical site.

Our team at Neurospine Plus consists of experienced neurosurgeons who are well-versed in the latest techniques and technologies for performing revision spinal surgeries.


When is revision surgery necessary?

Our neurosurgeons may refer you for revision surgery if you experience any of the following symptoms or complications:

  • Worsening pain post-procedure
  • Failure of the intended fusion, also known as pseudoarthrosis
  • Broken or moved hardware, also known as hardware failure
  • Spinal infection
  • Progression of deformities on your spine such as scoliosis or kyphosis
  • Adjacent level pathology above or below your prior surgery 
  • Recurrent disc herniations

What are the different types of revision surgery?

NeuroSpine Plus offers a range of revision surgeries to tackle unique post-surgical challenges that patients might encounter. Below, we describe several revision surgeries provided at our practice:

  • Implant Modifications: At NeuroSpine Plus, our surgical team performs precision-driven surgeries to modify orthopedic implants—including the repositioning, removal, or replacement of devices like screws, rods, or disc spacers. These modifications become necessary when patients experience implant-related complications such as infections, hardware loosening, or failure to fuse.
  • Recurrent Disc Herniations: Our surgeons are adept in conducting spinal correction surgeries to remedy persistent conditions, such as recurrent herniated discs
  • Adjacent Level Pathology: When a patient has had a prior spinal fusion and has since developed symptomatic concerns at the levels above or below, requiring additional surgical attention.

Our surgeons at NeuroSpine Plus utilize cutting-edge techniques and state-of-the-art instrumentation to conquer the intricate challenges that complex spinal revision surgeries present. Ensuring each procedure is performed with precision and care, our team is committed to fostering positive outcomes and improving the quality of life for our patients.

What to expect following a revision surgery

General postoperative recommendations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Use of postoperative pain medications as prescribed
  • Over-the-counter Tylenol for pain
  • Advance your diet as tolerated as discussed with your team; ensure regular bowel movements.
  • Avoid bending/twisting/ lifting 
  • Do not lift greater than 10 pounds
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments
  • Do not use NSAIDs until cleared by your surgeon (Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, etc)
  • Incision care to include washing your incision with gentle antibacterial soap 48 hours after your procedure. No scrubbing, submerging, or soaking the incision(s). No lotions, creams, oils, or ointments atop the incision(s).

When to contact your doctor's office following a revision surgery

If you have concerns during your postoperative period to include, but not limited to the following:

  • High fever greater than 100.4F
  • Change in urinary or bowel habits
  • Swelling or discoloration of one or both calves
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Incisional compromise
  • Loss of strength in your arms or legs

If you have a question regarding your initial postoperative period, a member of our team is always available to answer and address your concerns at 201-399-3388.

Revision surgery FAQ

Choosing a surgeon for revision spinal surgery is a personal decision that should be based on multiple factors including the complexity of your case, the experience of the surgeon, and your level of trust and comfort with the healthcare provider. 

While there can be advantages to having the same surgeon, such as familiarity with your medical history and previous surgery details, it’s also important to seek a second opinion, especially if you have concerns about the outcome of your initial surgery. Ultimately, the goal is to select a surgeon with significant experience in revision procedures to ensure the best possible outcome.

While many spinal surgeons will look the other way, Dr. Scheid and Dr. Hunt are comfortable, confident, and experienced in addressing revision surgical procedures.

All surgical procedures have an inherent level of risk associated with them. With the revision surgeries performed by our board-certified neurosurgeons, the risks are rare. However, revision spinal procedures can carry increased risks compared to initial spinal surgeries due to the presence of scar tissue, changes in the spine’s anatomy, and other potential complications from the previous surgery such as spinal fluid leak. 

All risks and benefits associated with undergoing any surgery at NeuroSpine Plus are discussed at length with our board-certified neurosurgeons prior to proceeding with your procedure.

If you believe you may be a candidate for a revision procedure, call our office today to book your consultation at 201-399-3388.

Schedule an Appointment