Failed back surgery syndrome, or FBSS, is a condition where a patient who has undergone spine surgery suffers from chronic back pain and/or leg pain even after the operation. A patient suffering from failed back surgery syndrome suffers persistent pain following back surgeries.

Factors Contributing to Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

There are a lot of reasons that may work as a contributing factor in developing this problem. These factors may include conditions like:

  • Altered joint mobility
  • Recurrent disc herniation, or the presence of bulging discs
  • Pressure on a spinal nerve (post-operative)
  • Fibrosis
  • Instability due to joint hyper-mobility
  • Spinal muscular deconditioning

In a lot of cases, psychological ill health like anxiety, insomnia and depression may also work as contributing factor for failed back surgery syndrome. Apart from these reasons, failed back surgery syndrome after back surgery may also develop due to genetic or hereditary disorders, like peripheral blood vessels disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Smoking is also a major reason for failed back surgery syndrome.

Symptoms Indicating Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

As mentioned above the main sign of failed back surgery syndrome is persistent pain. The patient suffering from this condition usually feels a dull aching pain in the back that may also spread to the legs. Some patients may also suffer from chronic pain which means a sharp, stabbing pain in the extremities.

Treatment Options For Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Spinal surgery specialists use a number of options for the treatment of failed back surgery syndrome depending upon the condition of the patient. The usual treatment options for failed back surgery syndrome include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Microcurrent electrical neuromuscular stimulator
  • Behavioral medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Epidural steroid Injections
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Intrathecal morphine pump