Chronic pain following back surgery: improving diagnostics and its treatment through spinal cord stimulation

Thursday 6 June 2024, 10:30 am
PhD candidate
R.L Witkam
prof. dr. K.C.P. Vissers
dr. D.J.H.A. Henssen

Chronic pain in the back or legs as a result of 'Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)' occurs in nearly 30% of patients who have undergone lower back surgery. The cause of FBSS is usually unclear, making it difficult to treat and thereby taking a heavy toll on the patient and society. This thesis demonstrates that medical imaging may contribute to finding objective criteria for diagnosing FBSS. Additionally, this thesis shows that exploring the highly personal experience of pain in FBSS patients is essential, among other things, to benefit multidimensional and comprehensive approaches to patient management, treatment, and therapy outcome evaluation. Regarding epidural spinal cord stimulation, this thesis demonstrates that a trial period does not offer clear added value. Therefore, the place of a trial period in the treatment algorithm should be reconsidered. Finally, this thesis describes that surgically placed electrodes should also be considered when minimally invasive spinal cord stimulation is not sufficiently effective.

Jesper (1996) graduated with honours in 2022 with a Master's degree in Medicine from Radboud University, while simultaneously having completed the majority of his doctoral programme (Department of Anaesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine). As of January 1, 2024, he commenced the medical specialist training programme to become an Anaesthesiologist (Radboudumc).