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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refers to the condition of patients who continue to experience pain after back surgery.

What Causes Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?

The number one cause of failed back surgery is operating on the wrong lesion. The best way to ensure successful surgery outcomes is to choose operations that have a high degree of success and to ensure the proper lesion is identified beforehand.

Other causes of FBSS include:

  • Fusion surgery considerations. Includes failure to fuse or implant; the level above or below the fusion breaks down and causes pain.
  • Lumbar decompression back surgery considerations. Includes recurrent spinal stenosis or disc herniation, inadequate decompression of a nerve root, preoperative nerve damage that fails to heal after surgery, and nerve damage caused by surgery.
Doctor evaluating female patient for failed back surgery syndrome
Construction worker experiencing failed back surgery syndrome
  • Scar tissue considerations. Includes formation of scar tissue around the nerve root.
  • Postoperative rehabilitation. Refers to additional pain from a secondary source.

Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

The following symptoms may indicate failed back surgery syndrome:

  • Return of original symptoms

  • New pain emerges

  • Reduced mobility

  • Headache

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The following symptoms are extreme and require immediate medical attention:

  • New weakness

  • Difficulty walking

  • Electric-like pain in the lower body

  • Fever

  • Vomiting

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Loss of bowel or bladder function

Types of Pain Caused by Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

After failed back surgery, patients may experience one or more of the following types of pain:

  • Chronic pain. Significant pain that lasts more than 12 weeks.
  • Nociceptive pain. Dull or sharp pain around the incision site.
Doctors performing back surgery
  • Neuropathic pain. Caused by damage to the nerves or spinal cord; may include numbness, burning, tingling, weakness, and other unusual sensations.
  • Radicular pain. Radiates from one part of the body to another.

Treatment Options

At Premier Urgent Care, patients with failed back surgery syndrome can experience lasting pain relief from injections and pain management techniques.

A few types of joint and soft tissue injections offered at the clinic include nerve blocks, epidural injections, piriformis injections, sacroiliac joint injections, and trigger point injections. Patients should speak to their physician to find out if they are a good candidate for joint and soft tissue injections.

Pain management techniques can also help patients minimize pain; techniques include cold and heat therapy, gentle exercise, massage, physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga, deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, cognitive behavior therapy, biofeedback, music therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Patients will receive a customized pain management plan to treat their type of pain.

Advanced Treatment

Severe back pain may require advanced treatment, such as chiropractic adjustment, physical therapy, and additional surgery. Premier Urgent Care supports patients needing a range of treatments. Staff is available to answer any questions about obtaining advanced treatment.

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OPEN HOURS

Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


APPOINTMENTS

Call us to schedule an appointment at


EMERGENCY SERVICES

We provide
emergency services

7 DAYS A WEEK!