Failed Back Surgery
Failed back surgery syndrome, (FBSS) is a term referring to the chronic and severe pain a patient can experience after unsuccessful surgery. FBSS affects up to 40 percent of patients who have had traditional open back or minimally invasive spine surgery. Often surgery is indicated for an identifiable source of pain due to pinched nerve root or an unstable and painful joint. However, back pain can have many causes and accurate identification of the source of pain is complicated. Too often an x-ray and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans does not correlate well with symptoms.Therefore, diagnostic injections are often warranted and assist in making the proper patient selection and spinal level for surgery.
Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Failed back surgery syndrome can result from one of many causes such as:
- Inaccurate diagnose of the condition(s)
- Failure resulting from spine fusion
- Lateral recess stenosis (failure to decompress the area between the midline and lateral aspect of the exiting nerve)
- Surgery performed at the wrong level of the spine
- Adjacent segment disease (the development of pain, instability of degenerative conditions at the level above of below the previous surgical site.
- Scar tissue formation
- Missed disc fragment, re-herniation of disc or bone spurs still pinching the spinal nerve
- Nerve damage from surgery
Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
The pain associated with failed back syndrome varies depending on the surgical procedure performed and the conditions treated. The pain can range from a dull ache to sharp stabbing pain and may be localized to one area of the back or reach into the legs. Patients suffering from FBSS can experience any of the following symptoms:
- Chronic pain
- Pain at the adjacent area above or below the previous treated area
- Decrease Mobility
- Aching and dull pain in the back, legs or neck
- Sharp or stabbing pain
- Increase dependence of pain medicine
Treatment Options for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Treatment of failed back surgery syndrome and chronic pain is difficult. In order to accurately diagnose FBSS a complete history and symptoms the patient is experiencing. It is also important to get a new MRI or CT Scan and do diagnostic injections to better understand what is causing the pain and pinpoint the affected area. Often times, endoscopic procedures such as endoscopic rhizotomy, discectomy and foraminalplasty can be used to selectively pinpoint the painful cause and decompress the affected nerve or nerve root.
The Jasper Spine Institute Interventional Pain Management Advantage:
- Less than ¼ inch incision
- Less post-operative pain and recovery than traditional minimally invasive procedures
- Outpatient procedure with patients discharged within 2 hours of surgery
- Return to work within 3-5 days*
At Jasper Spine Institute we listen and work with you to develop a unique treatment regime that addresses your pain and symptoms. Our goal is always to provide solutions whether conservative or surgical so that you are able to return to the quality of life you want without the pain and suffering.
* Always seek your physician’s opinion when it is safe to return to work. Also, light administrative duty is recommended until your physician approves of any physical demands at your place of work.