Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a generalized term that refers to patients who have undergone unsuccessful back or spine surgery. FBSS is not actually a syndrome, but rather a condition that is characterized by ongoing, continued pain after surgery. There are numerous reasons why back surgery can fail, some of which we will go over below. The fact of the matter is that, when back or spine surgery does not achieve the desired result, it is considered a failure. This is one of the reasons why we encourage our patients to explore alternative treatments and therapies before moving forward with back surgery. Unfortunately, the outcome is not always great with these types of surgeries.
Contributing Factors to FBSS
If you are experiencing pain following back or spine surgery, it is important you do not ignore it. There are a host of contributing factors that may lead to FBSS, including:
- Recurrent disc herniation
- Degeneration that is causing pressure on a spinal nerve
- Altered joint mobility
- Scar tissue in or around the nerves
- Muscle deconditioning
- Facet joint disease
- Sacroiliac joint degeneration
In some cases, your surgeon may be able to predict postoperative pain following back or spine surgery. For example, surgery for lumbar disc herniation may cause leg pain (this is very common), but it should never result in low back pain.
Symptoms of FBSS
Some of the most common symptoms associated with failed back surgery syndrome include:
- Dull, aching pain in the back and/or legs
- Sharp, burning, or stabbing pain the extremities
If you have recently undergone back or spine surgery and are experiencing pain in the days and weeks following the procedure, please contact Crescent Pain Relief today. We offer a wide range of treatment options for people experiencing FBSS. It is our goal to help you get back on your feet - free of pain. We understand how frustrating it can be to undergo surgery, only to face additional pain. Here at Crescent Pain Relief, some of the initial treatments we suggest for FBSS patients include injections, nerve blocks, and other treatments that will temporarily block pain signals (called radiofrequency). We have also had a great deal of success with using physical therapy to treat symptoms associated with FBSS.