Undergoing spinal surgery for back or leg pain, only to experience new or persistent pain after surgery, is not an unusual experience. Called failed back or failed fusion syndrome, it is characterized by intractable pain and an inability to resume normal activities, including working. Surgery may be performed again to reduce the condition.
Studies estimate the incidence of failed back surgery syndrome to be roughly 20-40% of patients, and the instances of failed back pain increase with the number of surgeries performed. There are several treatments, including injections, term blocks, or radiofrequency neurotomy, which heats small nerve endings to temporarily block the pain. Some patients benefit from an exercise program, but most need more aggressive treatment. Spinal cord stimulation through a small electrical contract placed near the nerves may also be tried. There may be an option for drug delivery through a catheter placed directly in the affected area.
There is further information available on the American Chronic Pain Association’s website.
Failed back syndrome is a debilitating condition, as described on the Cedars-Sinai website, and often, sufferers cannot continue to work. Filing a claim for long-term disability insurance benefits is often the only way to manage the family’s finances. When this occurs, the insurance company begins to request medical records, which can be substantial.
One of the challenges we have seen in our disability law firm is the insurance company provides a third-party reviewer, often a nurse with no specialized training in failed back syndrome, with incomplete medical records. The nurse cannot draw a correct diagnosis as they do not have the entire medical record. Even if they did, a lack of training in neurosurgery makes it unlikely that they can provide a factual review of the diagnosis.
The experienced disability insurance attorneys at Frankel & Newfield recommend that anyone with failed back syndrome contact our office at 877-583-2524. If you have not yet filed a claim, we can assist you in preparing a disability insurance claim. If you have been denied, we can help you with an appeal. We work with disability insurance claimants at all stages of the process. For a free consultation, call our office today.
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