I read a lot of articles about repeat spinal surgical procedures and want my patients to understand some basic reality.In most cases, the underlying process is a form of aging with degeneration of structures such as disc or facet joints. This ongoing process cannot be changed with surgery. Rather we try to lessen the symtoms of pain or weakness so a patient can be more functional. The undelying process may then pass on to other levels with time requring either non-surgical or possibly more surgery in the future. This process is seen quite often in heart surgery as well. Coronary arteries at other level also nay get blockage over time needing second and even third surgeries. I clearly relay this process to all my patients. Fortunately, new techniques for spine surgery make recovery very rapid from just a few years ago.

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