Unnecessary disc surgery

You have a sudden pain in your lower back area. A few days goes by and finally the pain has become sufficient enough to warrant a trip to your doctor.

At the doctor’s, your complaint of back pain is heard. If the pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and/or pain medications. If the pain is chronic and severe in nature, an MRI may be ordered.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
The MRI diagnostic tool is a miracle of modern medicine.It allows physicians to see inside the patient without the need for “exploratory surgery.” The problem is, does it allow the physician to see too much?

Many medical studies over the past two decades have cited the increasing number of patients who suffer from Failed Back Surgery Syndrome or FBSS. FBSS is a “syndrome” where the patient will have continuing or worsening pain following a spinal surgery.

The source of FBSS One of the main culprits in failed back surgery syndrome is over reliance on the MRI and an inaccurate conclusion that the pain is a coming from a problem of herniated discs. The doctor is seeing a problem but it is not the pain problem.

Many people walk around every day with herniated or bulging discs. They suffer no pain because not every disc problem generates pain. But if an MRI is performed and these herniated discs are seen as the “probable” cause of the problem you have all the makings for a failed back surgery. A surgery is being performed based on an improper diagnosis.

So what is causing the pain? It is estimated that 70% of lower back pain is caused by ligament injury. In our chronic pain and sports injury clinic in Los Angeles, we would estimate this number to be even higher. Usually when a patient comes in with complaints of lower back pain, I physically examine and palipate the area above the pelvis, where the iliolumbar ligament is. This is the ligament that attaches the spine to the pelvis. If that area is sore, we can be confident that we can heal the pain with Prolotherapy.

Pioneered in the medical literature since the 1950′s as an effective and minimally invasive technique, Prolotherapy works by injecting a concentrated sugar solution into the injured ligaments of the back. It repairs and strengthens ligaments through small, controlled inflammation.

Ironically, not only can Prolotherapy help prevent failed back surgery syndrome by addressing the ligament injury. It can also help alleviate the pain caused by failed back surgery in some instances because the surgery itself may have damaged previously healthy ligaments.

To learn more about Dr. Darrow, PRP Therapy, and Prolotherapy call our office at 310-231-7000.