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Failed back surgery syndrome — guidelines for treatment

There is no one set of guidelines for failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) treatment that works for everyone, mainly because every case differs. The best way to get the treatment you need for FBSS is to be patient as you work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that works for you. Educating yourself as a patient is also a critical, if often overlooked, part of treatment. The following can help you get a better overall understanding of this condition and make an informed treatment decision with the best chance of offering you long-term relief.

What is failed back surgery syndrome?

The term failed back surgery syndrome refers to cases where a spine surgery has not resolved the issue it was intended to, causing symptoms to return or worsen, or has caused new problems altogether. It can be difficult for patients who have undergone surgery to differentiate between the aches and discomfort that are to be expected when recovering from a surgery and issues that can indicate complications with the procedure. This is why it is important to discuss how the postoperative healing process is progressing with your doctor and to be watchful of signs that may indicate the need for additional medical care.

When symptoms may point to FBSS

Certain symptoms may arise or worsen following neck or back surgery, and they may require nonsurgical or surgical intervention. These symptoms include:

  • Healing complications: healing takes too long or relief is incomplete
  • Lingering pain in the treated area beyond what is usually associated with surgery
  • Pain occurring in a new area of the spine that was not treated before
  • Pain or numbness in the extremities
  • Instability of the spinal joints
  • Pain due to the formation of scar tissue
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Problems sleeping
  • Dependency on sleep or pain medications
  • Restricted mobility

When one or more of these symptoms is present, it can severely affect the quality of your daily life. Although it may be difficult to hear following a surgery you expected to relieve your symptoms, follow-up treatments may be recommended by a physician to ease pain and other issues.

Commonly recommended FBSS treatments

Many of the most commonly recommended failed back surgery syndrome treatment options overlap with those suggested for other neck and a back problems. A large number of FBSS sufferers can find relief by taking medications, getting sufficient low-impact exercise, completing physical therapy, applying heat or ice to the source of pain and other conservative approaches.

However, additional surgery may be the most promising option for people who haven’t found relief from their symptoms. In these cases, minimally invasive spine surgery — including the procedures offered by USA Spine Care — is a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional open spine procedures.

To learn more about failed back surgery syndrome treatment options performed by USA Spine Care and to receive a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to find out if you may be a candidate, reach out to our dedicated team today.

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