Failed back surgery syndrome occurs when back pain persists after spine surgery—beyond normal post-surgery pain while recovering. Instead, the surgery did not provide the expected results or, in fact, created additional back pain.
What are Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Symptoms?
A number of symptoms may unfold with failed back surgery syndrome:
New persistent back pain after surgery, in the back, neck or extremities
Restricted mobility related to the spine
Failure to recover
Additional spine conditions
Spinal surgery recovery does take significant time and since many of these symptoms occur with many other spine conditions, having a spine specialist with a wide-range of experience can more accurately diagnose what the origination of your back pain is.
What Are the Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?
No one specific cause can be attributed to Failed Back Surgery Syndrome—and determining the cause can be challenging.
Fusion failure: it takes months for bones to fuse after a fusion surgery and a number of factors can slow or stop the process including degeneration of a neighboring level.
Scar tissue: scar tissue can develop around the nerve root and contribute to ongoing pain.
Hardware problems: including migration of implants or failure of the hardware.
Incomplete analysis of the underlying condition. Evaluating the root cause of a spine issue takes an experienced spine expert with advanced imaging techniques and a thorough analysis.
Recurrent stenosis or disc herniation.
First Steps in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Treatment Options
Unless you require emergency surgery, more conservative treatments are nearly always recommended before surgical treatments. Our spine specialists use the most advanced failed back surgery treatment options—so you can reclaim your mobility and your life.
Conservative approaches to consider before secondary revision procedures include a range of options—confer with a pain management expert to explore treatment options such as:
Medications or nerve blocks as part of a pain management plan
Physical therapy to improve mobility and help with gentle stretching
Additional lifestyle changes such as improved ergonomics may also be recommended
Our multidisciplinary team at The Spine Center at NSPC provides personalized pain treatment plans rehabilitation programs to help you regain quality of life.
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Treatments at NSPC in New York
Having continued pain after surgery can be frustration, but today there are more options available than ever before. Each patient is different. Your treatment plan will depend on the underlying causes of your back pain.
If a secondary revision surgery is appropriate, our spine surgeons are experienced in advanced minimally invasive procedures. Minimally invasive surgery has a number of advantages over open spine surgery:
Fewer infections—a smaller area is exposed and there is a lower rate of infection and potential complications.
Faster recovery—less time in the hospital, often you can be in and out the same day.
Less pain—since the incision is smaller, there is usually less damage to the surrounding tissues.
As a leading choice of doctor referrals in the New York area, the dedicated physicians at NSPC offer comprehensive back, neck, and care with innovative solutions. If you are suffering from a spinal problem of this kind, NSPC’s team of NY-based specialists are here to help. Contact us to arrange a consultation at one of our Long Island centers.