What Is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome? And How It Can Be Treated?

Failed back surgery syndrome is a misnomer, because it is not actually a syndrome.  It is a much generalized term often used to describe the condition when patients had not a successful result with back surgery or spine surgery and have experienced continued pain after surgery. Failed back surgery can cause new or persistent pain after surgery or pain may get worse within a few months after surgery.

Why back surgery failed?

Every back surgery has 5% chances for getting failed. Factors which are contributing for failed back surgery are below;

  • Muscular Deconditioning
  • Facet Joint Degeneration
  • Nerve damage from surgery
  • Pain causing lesion missed from being operated
  • Recurrent Disc Herniation
  • Altered Joint Mobility
  • Sacroiliac Osteoarthritis
  • Scar Tissue

Symptoms associated with failed back surgery:

Failed back surgery refers to chronic neck or back pain which often associated with armor leg pain also. And the pain of failed back surgery will not resolve with any surgery. Failed back surgery has symptoms including;

  • Burning, stabbing and sharp pain to back, legs or arms
  • Numbness and tingling in extremities
  • Leg or arm pain
  • Diffuse dull achy back pain

Diagnosis of failed back surgery:

There are certain tests to diagnose failed back surgery which include MRI, CT scans, X-rays, EMG (electromyography), Physical, Orthopedic, and Neurologic examinations and nuclear medicine bone scans. The results of these tests will determine that the certain back surgery is failed or not.

Options for treating failed back surgery syndrome:

  • Physical therapy helps in managing pain of failed back surgery syndrome by stretching or straightens your muscles. Physiotherapist guides you that which exercises are best for you and will help you.
  • Low force specific chiropractic care; this technique include muscle energy and counterstain. Force is applied to the stuck joint and that force will allows the joint to move more easily.
  • Microcurrent electrical neuromuscular stimulator; is a device used to send electrical signals into the body used to treat pain or speeding healing and recovery.
  • Minor nerve blocks can help by blocking the pain signals to reach to the brain.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS); this technique uses low electric currents to treat pain caused by failed back surgery.
  • Behavioral medicine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, membrane stabilizers, antidepressants are also used to treat failed back surgery
  • Spinal cord stimulation; stimulator is implanted into the spinal canal to lessen the pain caused by the condition.

Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.

For further queries call on 815.412.6166