Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Overview

When back surgery has already been performed in the past but the pain still continues, has worsened, or hurts in a new location near the surgical site. Common reasons for failed back surgery are inaccurate diagnosis, poor choice of surgical point, nerve or tissue damage, post–op infection, incomplete surgical removal, remaining or re-occurring disc herniation, misaligned surgical hardware, poor fusion after spinal fusion, scar tissue formation, or lack of physical therapy during recovery.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome may also be known as Failed Back Surgery, Failed Neck Surgery.

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Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Symptoms of failed back or neck surgery include pain at the surgical area, return of the symptoms that the patient had prior to the surgery and mobility problems.

  • Limited range of motion
  • Sharp stabbing pain above or below the treated area of the spine.
  • Numbness, Tingling or Stiffness at or near the site.
  • Tingling, weakness that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and arms.
  • Tingling, weakness that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and legs.
  • Muscle spasms.
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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Causes

Common reasons for failed back surgery are inaccurate diagnosis, poor choice of surgical point, nerve or tissue damage, post–op infection, incomplete surgical removal, remaining or re-occurring disc herniation, misaligned surgical hardware, poor fusion after spinal fusion, scar tissue formation, or lack of physical therapy during recovery.

  • A history of previous back or neck surgery.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Treatments

Failed back surgery treatment is usually focused on pain management strategies. The physician must first determine where or why the surgery site is causing pain and then he/she will develop a plan that offers the most effective pain relief to the patient. Steroid injections are one of the more successful pain management methods.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Diagnosis

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