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Indications of failed back surgery syndrome

After making the decision to go through with open back surgery, it can be distressing to discover the original pain you experienced returned after the procedure.

Unfortunately, for many patients this is exactly what happens after undergoing risky surgery and a lengthy recovery. Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is the general term used to describe an unsuccessful outcome from a spine procedure.

Following an operation, some pain and discomfort is to be expected as the body heals. The recovery process can sometimes disguise the signs of a failed surgery though. If you have undergone open neck or back surgery you should keep an eye out for the following red flags that can indicate FBSS.

The continuation of previous symptoms

Probably the biggest indication of failed back surgery syndrome is the return of the specific symptoms that caused you to undergo surgery in the first place. This can include the tingling, numbness and shooting pains that are so commonly associated with degenerative spine conditions.

Make a note of what types of symptoms you are feeling, their location and their intensity, and discuss this information with your physician.

The development of new symptoms in the back

It is also possible to begin experiencing pain and other symptoms in other levels of your spine. This happens because some spine surgeries can place more stress on the levels around the affected area, leading to new symptoms such as pain or reduced mobility around the surgery site.

Dependence on prescription drugs

Although pain relievers will typically be prescribed after surgery to help you through the healing process, drug dependence can be a sign of FBSS. If you have trouble performing tasks without taking medications to address your back pain, it can be a strong indicator of an unsuccessful procedure.

Mental health problems

Sometimes, disappointment in the back surgery’s failure to relieve symptoms and the return of pain and other issues can cause problems with daily tasks such as working. This in turn can cause mental health issues such as increased anxiety and sleeplessness, as well as depression.

Treatment options

Upon diagnosing this condition most doctors will begin treatment by recommitting to the conservative methods that were originally attempted before surgery, such as physical therapy or spinal injections. However, in some cases of failed back surgery syndrome, the most promising approach could be another surgery. USA Spine Care performs minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to address an array of spine problems, including FBSS, on an outpatient basis. Our minimally invasive procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery. Contact us today to learn more.

We are pleased to offer a free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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