Sunday, October 4, 2015

Your Back Pain May Be Worse After Having Back Surgery

foot structure can cause back painBecause surgery to ‘eliminate’ chronic back pain is such a common practice, many people think that it will be the magic solution to end their pain. But after undergoing back surgery, not only is there a long period of painful rehabilitation, many people also find that their pain is the same as (or worse than) before the surgery.

Are you thinking about undergoing the knife to eliminate your back pain? Before you make such an important decision which will definitely affect the rest of your life, it’s important to read the experiences of other back pain sufferers who have had this invasive surgery.

Below are four posts, taken from the Spine Health forum, of people whose pain is worse after their back surgery:


  • Here I’m again posting. 15 months post L3-S1 fusion with iliac bone graft. I just can't get past the pain and spasms.  I thought I'd be walking around and enjoying life. Instead, I have to take pain pills just to do normal daily living tasks.


  • I myself am still in considerable pain post operation {18 months now}.  My first operation in 1996 was a laminectomy L4/L5.  My second operation was in 2007, a bilateral discectomy S1 and redo of L4/L5 laminectomy to release scar tissue from my first back surgery.


I am three years post anterior double fusion L3-SI. I am in the same boat.  I also need medications just to do normal thing.


  • I went through a fusion on L5-S1 10 months ago and it was my second back surgery. The first time around was a bust since I suffered a recurrent herniation among other problems. These two surgeries were supposed to make me feel a whole lot better and get me on my feet again. It didn't go that way in either case!

The failure rate for back surgery is deplorable. In fact, in many cases the surgery actually makes the pain worse then before the surgery was done.

Why do back surgeries fail? 

The answer lies in first understanding the cause of the back pain.  In almost all cases, the herniation (a pathology in the spinal discs) and resulting back pain is caused by an underlying problem.  And surprising enough, that underlying problem is the way your feet function when you walk. 

A direct link has been documented between back pain and bad posture resulting from foot twist (abnormal foot motion).  When the posture is improved by eliminating the foot twist, the back pain quickly dissipates, without the need for surgery. 

Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy has been proven to be a very effective therapy that eliminates back pain by reprogramming the cerebellum (brain) to automatically improve posture.

Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot Structure and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain


To read about a four year study that shows a direct correlation between bad posture and chronic low back pain, go to:   Resolution of Chronic Low Back Pain

As you learn more about my innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.

If you would like to make an appointment with me to see if I can help you to permanently eliminate your low back pain, go to:  Schedule a Consultation.

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73 Responses to “Your Back Pain May Be Worse After Having Back Surgery”
  1. Danys187 says:

    I had a titanium plate put in at the L5 S1 in June of 12. They were suppose to fix the sciatic nerve as well but didn’t. My back hurts double what it did before the surgery. Come to find out my left leg is about a half inch shorter than the right. I have a lift in that shoe now. However, the pain is still the same. With any activity (i.e. working out lightly, walking, bending, etc) my back hurts extremely bad after I sit down for a few moments. I don’t know what to do. I was taking Meloxicam but stopped a week ago, but need to start again. It helps just slightly but no where near stops the extreme pain. I don’t care for pain pills bc I would have to take morphine or Oxy & I don’t want either. What do I do? The back surgeon & my doctor keep saying nothing.

  2. Rothbart says:

    Dear Tang,

    I’m very sorry to hear what’s going on, but what you are going through is not uncommon. Ssurgeons are quick to do back surgery when their patient is suffering with unrelenting pain, the problem is that they often do not identify the cause of the pain.

    Herniations,stenosis and osteodegenerative changes in the vertebra are all symptoms of an underlying cause. What has happened, in your case, is the surgeon has treated your symptoms (your laminectomy) without identifying the cause. This is why you pain has continued.

    Have your surgeon to run the necessary tests to find out if you have either Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. Either of thee two inherited,abnormal foot structures can cause the spinal problems you’ve been experiencing.

  3. Rothbart says:

    Dear Michael,

    No, this is not ‘normal’. The frustration you are feeling is most likely a reflection of what your surgeon is feeling in not knowing what is going on.

    My best advise is that, before having any other surgeries, have your neurosurgeon research on both the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity and Rothbarts Foot, for there is a high probability that what you are experiencing is the direct result of having one of these two abnormal foot structures.

    If this is the case, your foot structure must be treated directly which will automatically decrease or eliminate the paresthesia (numbness) that you are experiencing in your leg, without the need for further surgery.

  4. Rothbart says:

    Dear Dawn,

    The most common cause of numbness and pain down spine and into the leg, as well as the symptoms in your right arm are almost always the result of compression of the nerve that innervates these areas of your body. Regarding your leg; an anterior rotation of your hip bone can compress the major nerves leaving your spinal cord, entering your leg and running down to your foot. This can result in the symptoms that you have described.

    Have your surgeon evaluate for this possibility. If it is present, the cause of it must be identified and treated directly. This will, in turn, eliminate or greatly reduce the debilitating symptoms you are experiencing.

    Two of the most common causes of an anteriorly/forwardly rotated hip bone are the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. Information on these two inherited, abnormal foot structures is available on my research website:

  5. Rothbart says:

    Dear Danys,

    There are many different possibilities that can lead to sciatica. One of the most common is a forwardly rotated hip bone that mechanically compresses the sciatic nerve. Clinically, a leg length discrepancy strongly suggests that one or both of your hips are rotated anteriorly (forwardly).

    If this is the case, it would explain why your titanium plate inserted at L5 S1 did not resolve your pain.

    In my opinion, another surgery or pain medication is not indicated. What needs to be done first is to determine the cause of your forwardly rotated hip bones. Then, directly treat that cause.

  6. Marion P says:

    I have had two double fusion operations L4 to S1. The second op was a success and the bones fused. But I was told i would never be pain free but better as the discs had worn. I have had good and bad times. I am 58 and now work part time in the West End – as a receptionist. Had many stresses in my life such as marital problems, depression, hearing, stomach problems from the op. Recently I had an extremely bad flare up and was put on 14 painkiller and now are coming off them slowly because I seem addicted. Then my job requires me to work to work full time to cover my job share and I feel exhausted and my back has flared up again to the point that I was in tears along with the exhaustion. I need to keep the job for financial reasons but feel that this time it could have been the cause to my problems. We moved over a year ago to the country mainly cos my husband wanted to. Also not just because of the move, my friends has not bothered with me and I have made an effort to call them. Quite a few friends I have lost and two new in the area who were keen to start with and then didnt bother. I am beginning to feel low with the pain and losing my confidence. My husband had a one night stand 8 years ago and I forgave him but truly am very unhappy and want to have a better life.

    Regards. Marion

  7. Rothbart says:

    Dear Marion,

    Having chronic pain will certainly make you unhappy and I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been going through.

    First, you need to identify the cause(s) of your back pain. Fusing your vertebrae or taking pain medication is not eliminating the cause, it is only treating (managing) your pain symptoms.

    On my website I have written a great deal about two abnormal inherited foot structures that can result in chronic back pain. I encourage you to take the Rothbart Foot Questionnaire. If you have one of these two foot structures, I can help you.

    Life will be much brighter once your pain becomes a dim memory of your past.

    Professor Rothbart

  8. I did the Rothbart Foot Questionnaire and only came up with two problems so I obviously dont come into that category. So what would you suggest now.

    Kind regards.


  9. Rothbart says:

    Dear Michele,

    The Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire is a good way to quickly determine if you may have one either a Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. But the questionnaire is not infallible. For example, if you have both an abnormal foot structure and a malocclusion (bite problem) your responses to the questions can be skewed. That is, your answers may not accurately access whether you have one of these foot structures.

    If you do have a malocclusion and/or problems with your 1st cervical vertebrae (neck problems) I suggest you consider setting up an Initial Phone Consultation to determine the probability of you having one of these abnormal foot structures.

    Even if you do not have a Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, your consultation will still be very helpful for you because I can most likely advise you on what type of therapy will help you to solve your chronic pain problem.

  10. Phong pham says:

    Hi ,
    I need help! I got lumbar fusion 18 month ago, I have CT scan and MRI, show L5S1 bones graft did’t fuses! Now my both leg get a lot a pain and numbness , can you tell me what I can do,,,,

  11. Rothbart says:

    Dear Phong,

    At this point it is best for you to see your surgeon and find out why your lumbar fusion didn’t hold. Your failed fusion is probably what is causing the pain and numbness in your legs.

    Professor Rothbart

  12. Rothbart says:

    Dear Michele,

    The Foot Questionnaire is a good scanning tool that will pick up a majority of patients having either Rothbarts Foot or the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. But this questionnaire is not infallible. That is, it is possible that you answer only a couple of the questions in the affirmative and still have one of these abnormal foot structures.

    I suggest you consider setting up a phone consultation with me.

    Professor Rothbart

  13. Phong pham says:

    Hi Rothbart
    Yes I did , doc say don’t fuses , doc say I need to treat vitamin D first , but they can’t do nothing now it a new doc, my doc surgery he telling I want put more bones I wiil but more bone , how do you think?

  14. Al says:

    I’ve had L5/S1 herniations for 3 years now. There’s also an element of arthritis/bone spurs going on down there. The first time it got better on its own, but after a year I re-ruptured it, and it has been miserable ever since. My neurosurgeon flat out told me that there is little they can do to eliminate the pain, in fact sometimes it worsens after surgery. He comes into play when there is chronic nerve damage (numbness, lameness). “That we can usually fix, but we can’t help you with your pain problem.” Right now he’s putting off surgery. Meanwhile, some days the pain is almost unbearable.

  15. Rothbart says:

    Dear Phong,

    I am not sure I understand what you are saying. If your surgeon is suggesting redoing the fusion, before he does so, he needs to explain why your initial fusion failed.

    I suggest you consider setting up a phone consultation with me so that we can discuss this in more detail.

    Professor Rothbart

  16. Rothbart says:

    Dear Al,

    Herniations and spinal bone spurs are common symptoms seen in the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. If you have this congenital abnormal foot structure, there is a non surgical therapy that can permanently reduce your pain, numbness and lameness.

    I suggest you take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire ( and also read the categories on this website: Foot Structures and Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy.

    Professor Rothbart

  17. Cheri says:

    4 months post op for a L4-5 fusion with instrumentation and grafting with a pretty unremarkable recovery until now. After lying in bed, my lower back, more in the sacral area and around the front to my iliac crests on both sides feels painful and tight. I have been stretching my muscles in this area thinking this might help but no. Any thoughts as to why this is happening?

  18. Rothbart says:

    Dear Cheri,

    The pain and tightness you are experiencing 4 months after your low back fusion is very typical of patients having a PreClinical Clubfoot or Rothbarts Foot Deformity. I suggest you take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire to see if you do indeed have one of these abnormal foot structures.

    Professor Rothbart

  19. I am writing to your from srilanka , i have had the laminectomey in Disc l4 and l5 , its been 10 months now , i still have the pain in my back , it get worse when i am standing sitting after long period of time , and also my spine is not stable , it looks like am limping and going one side down

  20. Rothbart says:

    Dear Chandra,

    The fact that you are still having pain 10 months after having the laminectomy indicates that the cause of your pain was not identified and treated.

    An oblique pelvis (one hip appears lower than the other) and pain after standing for a long period of time are common symptoms associated with the abnormal foot structures I have described on my website.

    Take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire. If you do have one of these foot structures, I can help you.

    with regards,
    Professor Rothbart

  21. DT says:

    I had back surgery, Fusion and bone graft. I am now 6 months now still in pain with limit of function’s I went and had spinal decompression, 46 injections at a time and nothing helped. I went to two well known doctor’s and both said that surgery was the only thing that would make me almost whole. ( After having surgery having metal put in your back to support your back will limit on what you can do). After surgery my doctor came out and said that their were two broken bones that he removed and used them for the bone graft, He also told my family and friends and a doctor friend of mine that if it was not done that I would be wheel chair bound in 6 to 12 months. That would be the only consideration of having back surgery. Their is a doctor in Texas that developed a two part like epoxy that he can inject in your disk that will level them back too original shape and seal them so it will give your disk time to heal and produce the liquid that is back in your disk. ( If the FDA hurry’s up and it will cost between 10 to 20 thousand dollars instead of the 160 thousand that it cost me, and you will have your original parts in your body.) Please research before you would ever think about having back surgery ( Doctor’s sometimes only see the $$$$$$$$ in their eye’s!!! I hope that this help’s a little.

  22. Mick says:

    Had 3 lowest disc fused with screws, rods, plates and wire mesh. Neurosurgeon was supposed to be best of best at a well known hospital in Wisconsin. Here I am 8 years later and it is hard for me to even move without severe pain! Hurts worse in the morning. I can’t stand this anymore and my wife is sick of it too. HELP!

  23. Rothbart says:

    Dear Mick,

    I’m truly sorry to hear what happened to you. Unfortunately, what you are experiencing happens all too often when back surgery is performed without first identifying the underlying cause of the pathology. That is, why was it necessary for the neurosurgeon to fuse your sacral vertebrae with screws, rods and plates?

    In my 45 years of research and clinical practice, I have found that the most common cause of chronic low back pain is the abnormal foot structures – PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity and Rothbarts Foot. You will find much information about these common foot structures on this website.

    If you have one of these common foot structures, your feet are continually forcing your back into a mal alignment, which in turn is placing a lot of stress on the implanted hardware in your back. This is the reason why you still have so much pain.
    By permanently correcting the alignment in your back, your pain will go away. The only way to permanently correct your alignment is by the therapy I have developed, which specifically addresses and effectively treats the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.

    If you have one of these foot structures, I can help you. Complete the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire and Posture Self Analysis. These will tell you if you may have one of these abnormal foot structures. Then, when you are ready, set up a phone appointment.

    Professor Rothbart

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