Although most patients notice improvement fairly soon, don’t be too hasty in deciding that your surgery has failed. Some people just recover more slowly than others. As long as the operation hasn’t increased your pre-operative symptoms, you may still be on the right track. But remember: a good surgical outcome needs your active participation. This means using the advice from your doctor and other care providers to resume your activities as soon as you can.
If the surgery doesn’t correct the original problem, or if surgical complications lead to a new problem, there are still treatment options:
- Sometimes, if the operation was partly successful, non-surgical treatments that didn’t help you before surgery may now be more effective in reducing or eliminating symptoms (see Non-Surgical Treatments and Interventions).
- Having a second operation is not something most people would like to consider, but it may be the correct choice.
There are very few situations that cannot be improved, so don’t give up. Discuss the alternatives with the surgeon and prepare to move ahead (see When Back Surgery Fails).