Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) is chronic back and/or leg pain that occurs after back surgery (usually a laminectomy).  The pain is diffuse, dull, and aching and may include sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain in the extremities.

Causes

Some surgeries are riskier, and often the location and injury causing the pain are difficult to cure.  Failure to decompress a pinched nerve root, stabilize a painful joint or accidental nerve damage can result in new pain, weakness, sexual dysfunction, loss of bowel or bladder control, and paralysis.

Post Operative Challenges

After surgery is completed, challenges can arise including pain transferring from one area to another, or scar tissue forming, and causing nerve pressure and pain.

Surgery Complications

Complications such as infections, medication reaction, blood clots, heart attack, and stroke can occur after surgery.  Two common surgeries, laminectomies and foraminotomies can make the spine less stable and require a fusion surgery to reinforce the spine’s structural integrity.

Treatments

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) delivers mild electrical stimulation to nerves along the spinal column minimizing the sensation of pain.  A minimally invasive and drug-free treatment option, SCS is a FDA approved therapy with proven results.  The treatment has been used successfully for 30 years, and includes a 3-10 day trial period to ensure success before surgically implanting in the body.

Specialists

These doctors specialize in chronic pain management and can help diagnose, treat, and manage your condition.

Anesthesiologist

A doctor that administers medicine to put patients asleep during surgery, renders them numb for local procedures, or reduces chronic pain through injections.

Physiatrist

A doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation that treats both acute and chronic pain with a variety of nonsurgical treatments.

Neurosurgeon

A surgeon that diagnoses and treats pain resulting from disorders of the spine, spinal cord, nerves, brain, intracranial, and intraspinal vasculature.

Orthopedic Surgeon

A surgeon that diagnoses and treats pain resulting from spinal disorders, arthritis, sports injuries, trauma, and fractures.

To learn more about failed back surgery syndrome and its risks, please visit Spine Health