Failed Back Surgery Syndrome – What is it?

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a term for pain and symptoms resulting from unsuccessful spine surgery. There can be a wide range of causes for this, including misdiagnosis of the underlying condition, infection of the surgical site, or rejection of a surgical implant. While this can be a frustrating condition to deal with, it is treatable. Educating yourself about FBSS can be very important whether you are trying to treat a failed back surgery or prevent one. 

How to Prevent this Condition

After spine surgery, patients will receive a list of detailed recovery guidelines. Carefully following these instructions is absolutely essential for recovery. For instance, patients are often advised to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for the first few months after back surgery. Doing too much too soon can increase the chances of reinjuring the back. However, even when patients follow their recovery instructions, there is still a small chance that complications arise. It’s impossible to predict how any individual will respond to back surgery prior to their procedure. That is why the postoperative consultation will typically include a thorough discussion of the potential benefits and risks. As well as the average success rates and ways to improve the chances of a back surgery being successful. 

Treatment for FBSS

If symptoms are determined to be related to FBSS and not just part of the recovery process, there are treatment options. Conservative options can often be helpful in managing the pain associated with failed back surgery. These include such as medications and physical therapy. Epidural steroid injections might be administered as well. This depends on the specific condition that the initial back surgery was intended to treat. Some patients might also be asked to consider a second surgery. The goal of this would be to correct problems caused by previous surgery, or that were missed. 

How BEST Can Help

At BEST Health System, we perform minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery that can treat a wide range of spine conditions, including FBSS. By using muscle-sparing techniques our board-certified surgeons Dr. Girton and Dr. Abbott offer our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open neck or back procedures. 

To find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at BEST, contact us today!