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Failed back surgery syndrome: what is it and how is it treated?

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a term for pain and symptoms resulting from an unsuccessful spine surgery. There can be a wide range of causes for this, including misdiagnosis of the underlying condition, infection of the surgical site or rejection of a surgical implant. While this can be a frustrating condition to deal with, it is treatable. Educating yourself about FBSS can be very important whether you are trying to treat a failed back surgery or prevent one.

Preventing failed back surgery syndrome

After a spine surgery, patients should receive a list of detailed recovery guidelines. Carefully following these instructions is important. For instance, patients are often advised to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for the first few months after back surgery, as doing too much too soon can increase the chances of reinjuring the back. However, even when patients follow their recovery instructions, there is still a small chance that complications can arise. It’s impossible to predict how any individual will respond to back surgery prior to his or her procedure. That’s why a preoperative consultation will typically include a thorough discussion of potential risks and benefits, average success rates and ways to improve the chances of a back surgery being successful.

Failed back surgery syndrome treatments

If symptoms are determined to be related to a failed back surgery and not just part of the recovery process, there are treatment options. Conservative options, such as medications and physical therapy, can often be helpful at managing the pain that can occur after failed back surgery. Epidural steroid injections might be administered as well, depending on the specific condition that the initial back surgery was intended to treat. Some patients might also be asked to consider a second surgery to correct problems caused by a previous surgery, or that were missed.

Minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care

At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery that can treat a wide range of spine conditions, including FBSS. By using muscle-sparing techniques we are able to offer our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open neck or back procedures.

To find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care, contact us today for a no-cost review* of your MRI or CT scan.

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