Failed back surgery syndrome

Post spine surgery an individual expects the back or neck problem to be resolved. But in some cases that is not the scenario. Either immediately or after some months of the surgery the pain and related symptoms may come back – a situation called failed back surgery(FB). Also called failed back surgery syndrome(FBSS) and post-laminectomy syndrome, the situation can take hold of the spine and can be a disappointing incident for both the patient and the doctor.

Does it mean my spine surgery failed?

In case your doctor suggests that you have a failed back surgery syndrome or FBSS, it is obvious that your surgery failed. But that is not always the case. In reality, the very name failed back surgery or failed back surgery syndrome is imprecise and complex. It doesn’t mean that your doctor or you have failed. various reasons that ushered FBS may be out of control.

What is failed back surgery?

In simple words when you do not get relief from your back or neck pain after surgery it is known as failed back surgery.

Apart from acute back pain other signs of failed back surgery can be neurological symptoms like numbness, weakness, pricking sensation, pain in the leg, and pain that travels from one part of your body to another such as from your neck down to the arm also known as radicular pain.

Also, other things you expected from your surgery as improving all the basic functions and quality of your life and ease in performing all the daily chores influence the criteria of the success of the surgery. Apprehending what your life is like post-surgery will guide your doctor to realize whether your pain is related to FBS or not.

To be exactly defined as failed back surgery, your physician must be able to connect your present spinal case to your prior spinal procedure. For example, if at present you have pain after 5 to 6 years of surgery, then your doctor may establish the cause as wear and tear of your spine due to degenerative changes caused by aging and not the previous surgery.

Treatments that may improve your quality of life after failed back surgery

Knowing that your spine surgery was not able to meet your expectations can be quite irritating. But some therapies may help in reducing your pain and reinstate your normal daily functions.

The physician may use an integrative approach to rectify your problem. Physiotherapy along with other approaches may be advised by your doctor to reinstate normal function and/or a psychological health professional to rectify mental and emotional health. Oral medications may be prescribed by your doctor for pain management or you may be advised to go for SCS, spinal cord stimulation.