What you need to know about Failed Back Surgery syndrome


Failed back surgery syndrome refers to chronic back or neck pain, that often do not give rise to leg or arm pain. The condition occurs if the spine surgery does not produce the desired results. There are several factors that can lead to failed back surgery, including restored disc herniation, compressed nerves, loss of joint mobility, scar tissue, muscle reversal, degeneration of the facet joints. It is usually observed that the surgery, sometimes fails to address the real cause of pain and as a result the pain continues after surgery or even gets intolerable. The failed back surgery is the outcome of surgical mediation that has proven to be less satisfactory in restoring a reasonable quality of life. The condition can also be referred as multiply operated back, however, in reality, these terms may be used to falsify appear the fact that the condition is inoperable and no other alternative can be tried. As the last option is to recommend the patient to a pain management institute. There are certainly alternatives to failed back surgery syndrome, but in case of a traditional surgery the alternatives may be somehow limited and  include the following;

  • When the residual bone bulging is considered a part and if it is safely accessible by traditional methods. Then it can be easily addressed by Microdiscectomy with or without combination at the same time
  • Where a successful discectomy has been carried out, but as the time passes additional wear and tear of the spinal disc and the facet joint may cause severe pain or instability. This condition can be treated by fusion or open decompression

 How Failed back surgery syndrome can be minimized?

There are several factors that have contributed to the failed back surgery syndrome and you can enjoy healthy and desired surgical outcomes by following these;

Before the surgery:

  • First try to go with the non surgical treatments, a dedicated effort towards physical therapy will help reduce pain
  • Make sure the real cause of pain must be diagnosed accurately
  • Thoroughly understand the non surgical options
  • You must make sure that the surgery is the only option left

During the surgery:

Proper precaution and complete medical care should be taken to make sure that any intra-operative issues are minimized

After the surgery:

  • Keep a close eye on postoperative recovery.
  • Make sure any postoperative pain is appropriately managed.
  • Work closely team of physical therapists, occupational therapists