Revision Spine Surgery

At Citrus Spine Institute, we specialize in revision spine surgeries. Learn about this procedure, why you may need it and how it can help enhance your quality of life.

Request Appointment

What Is Revision Spine Surgery?

Revision spine surgery is a secondary procedure performed to correct a spinal surgery that fails or doesn’t provide the intended results. The goal of revision spine surgery is to decompress and/or stabilize the spine in order to reduce pain and enable you to gradually resume regular activity.

While you may not be looking forward to another spinal surgery, thankfully, there are minimally invasive techniques that can be used to achieve success – which lead to quicker recovery times, less pain and may even be able to be performed as an outpatient procedure.

As experts in revision spine surgery and in minimally invasive spinal procedures, our team at Citrus Spine can help you achieve a successful spinal revision.

Learn More About Revision Spine Surgery

Revision surgery may be necessary because of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS). Other reasons your doctor may recommend another spinal surgery include adjacent level pathologies, non-surgery related spinal degeneration, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, pinched nerves or the crankshaft phenomenon

Hardware failure, a new injury, infection, errors during surgery, flat back syndrome, pseudoarthrosis (fusion failure) and scar tissue formation are also reasons you may need this procedure. 

The following symptoms are a sign that revision spine surgery could be what you need: 

  • New pain that wasn’t there pre-surgery or pain that’s worse
  • Nerve pain 
  • Pain or numbness that radiates into your limbs 
  • Poor healing
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle spasms or weakness 
  • Back or neck spasms 
  • Redness at the surgical site
  • Stiffness that inhibits daily activities 
  • Incontinence 

If you have any of these symptoms, consult with a spinal specialist. They will be able to determine the right treatment plan and if you need spinal revision surgery. 

The surgical methodology your doctor uses will depend on what issue has caused the initial spinal surgery’s failure. In many cases, your doctor will recommend milder treatments for a minimum of six months before resorting to another surgery.

Revision spine surgery can be either open or minimally invasive. Common minimally invasive procedures used for spinal revisions include microdecompression, cervical or lumbar fusions, laminotomy and foraminotomy.

Procedure length, recovery time and your restrictions will depend on which surgical method your doctor chooses.

With any spinal surgery, it’s normal to feel pain, soreness and stiffness in the affected area – this should improve as you recover in the weeks following your surgery. Your doctor may prescribe pain medications, over-the-counter medications or antibiotics.

You will also have a list of restrictions, which you should follow closely to ensure a smooth recovery. These may include:

  • Avoid certain movements. Don’t bend forward or backward or twist your body side to side.
  • Follow weight restrictions. Avoid pushing, pulling or lifting items heavier than five pounds.
  • Don’t stay sedentary. While you don’t want to participate in rigorous exercise until you’re cleared by your doctor, you also want to avoid sitting for long periods. Taking short walks regularly can help with the healing process. 

Your doctor may also prescribe a back brace and physical therapy.

Revision spine surgeries are technically challenging, and the difficulty level of the procedure depends on the person’s unique pathology. The risk of complications from minimally invasive surgical approaches is much lower compared to open spinal revisions

Since there are different risks associated with the procedure your surgeon chooses, ask them what the risks are with your specific procedure. General surgery risks include infection, poor healing, nerve damage, excessive bleeding, blood clots and issues with anesthesia. 

Using tobacco products and specific conditions such as obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and peripheral artery disease can increase your risk of needing a revision spine surgery.

couple walking on tennis court with tennis rackets

The Citrus Spine Difference

For us, the patient remains the king, in everything that we do.


Dr. Toumbis completed his fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Spine Institute and focused on spinal revision procedures.


Dr. Toumbis has more than 18 years of experience with revision spinal surgeries.


We have performed more than 10,000 successful spinal surgeries.


We’re affiliated with the North American Spine Society and Dr. Toumbis is a member. We keep up with advances in spinal health.

What to Know Before Revision Spine Surgery

From cutting out tobacco products to following a healthy diet and exercise regimen, and more, preparation is key before your revision spine surgery. 

Your healthcare provider will have recommendations and requirements for you to prepare for your procedure. Follow these guidelines and let them know of any changes in your condition or overall health in the days leading up to your surgery.

Learn more

Wondering If Revision Spine Surgery Is Right for You?

The best way to find out if revision spine surgery is the treatment you need is by consulting with a spinal specialist. We will give you a proper diagnosis and work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your unique condition. Schedule a consultation today to see if revision spine surgery is right for you.