By: 7 August 2015
The benefits of teamwork – Interview with Richard Assaker

The benefits of teamwork – Interview with Richard Assaker

Professor Richard Assaker discusses the importance of treating chronic back and leg pain patients in multidisciplinary teams

Interview by Ted Farwell

Describe the complexity of the chronic back and leg pain (CBLP) patient

Assaker: A patient who complains of chronic postoperative back and leg pain is very difficult to evaluate. The indication and the surgical strategy of the primary surgery need to be reviewed, as well as its iatrogenicity and side-effects. For these reasons the evaluation of such scenarios has to be multimodal and multidisciplinary.

Tell us about the term ‘failed back surgery syndrome’ (FBSS)

Assaker: The term FBSS refers to a failure of a therapy and obviously failure of a surgical (surgeon) treatment. In other words, from the patient’s perspective it means that something has gone wrong with the surgery and it is somehow the surgeon’s fault. In most cases, the surgery has been done technically correctly and it is not the surgeon’s fault…

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