Having back surgery is very common and is usually preceded by careful diagnosis and proper surgery planning. Sadly, not all back pain surgery goes as anticipated. If you are in pain after back surgery and suffering from severe chronic pain, you may be experiencing failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). It’s not a simple task to identify the sources of your back pain, and a misdiagnosis of your condition can often lead to FBSS.
At Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona, our goal is to accurately diagnose the specific source of your painful spinal symptoms before developing a personalized treatment approach. Our Personal Pain Mapping techniques help us to identify the pain sources accurately. Often there may be more than one source causing the pain in your spine. If you are struggling with FBSS, you can count on us to carefully diagnose, treat, and select the right surgical procedure to address your back pain.
Failed back surgery syndrome or FBSS is something of a misnomer as it’s not actually a syndrome. This general term describes patients whose back or spine surgery was unsuccessful, and they continue to struggle with pain. FBSS can occur after traditional open back surgery or minimally invasive procedures. For some, the pain is immediate and never subsides. Others experience a gradual return or development of painful symptoms.
Failed back surgery generally affects about 30 percent of patients undergoing low back spine surgery. The goal of spine surgery for low back pain is to ablate, decompress, or remove the painful anatomy. However, sometimes additional pain generators may contribute to FBSS, or surgery failed to altogether remove the pain generator.
Back pain can originate from many sources in your spine; therefore, accurate identification is complicated and requires a thorough history and diagnostic workup. Personalized pain mapping takes into account imaging studies, and a patient’s pain story then utilizes diagnostic injections to relieve the pain to pinpoint the pain generator accurately.
Failed back surgery often has little to do with the talents or experience of the spine surgeon. Instead, it has more to do with the diagnosis process. Because back pain is not as easy to pinpoint as other sources of pain, spinal surgeries are less predictable in their ability to completely relieve symptoms, and FBSS can occur as a result.
Failed back surgery syndrome can be due to one of many causes, including:
The pain a patient feels due to failed back surgery syndrome varies depending on the surgical procedure performed and the condition treated.
Those suffering from FBSS can experience a variety of symptoms, such as:
Patients who’ve experienced failed back surgery syndrome may be hesitant to proceed with further treatment. Many FBSS patients come to DISC for a second opinion because of our extensive expertise in endoscopic spine surgery. This least invasive technique can be a viable treatment option for some patients suffering from FBSS. When you entrust your care to the orthopedic specialists at DISC in Arizona, you’ll find a personalized approach to your care and a wide range of treatment options.
For those who are afraid to pursue surgical intervention after a failed attempt, please understand that we never push surgery. After our careful and thorough diagnostic process, we may recommend conservative care, minimally invasive spine surgery and a full spectrum of non-surgical therapeutic and diagnostic injections that require no incisions, no stitches and no hospital stays.
The best way to avoid unsuccessful back surgery is to meet with a board-certified spine surgeon at DISC. We offer cutting-edge procedures with proven results that are sought out by patients from around the world. We believe that listening and understanding your exact needs is the best way to achieve a successful outcome.
To learn more about treatment options available for failed back surgery syndrome at our Arizona spine centers, contact us today.
LEADERS IN MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE CARE
1635 E. Myrtle • Suite 400 • Phoenix, AZ 85020
Ph: 602-944-2900 • Fax: 602-944-0064