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What are nonsurgical treatment options for failed back surgery syndrome?

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) describes the symptoms caused by complications related to an unsuccessful spine surgery. This is a broad term because the specific nature of the symptoms and the cause of a failed back surgery can be so wide-ranging. A few of the common causes for FBSS include misdiagnosis of the underlying condition, nerve damage caused by a surgical error or rejection of surgical implants.

This is an understandably frustrating condition to deal with, since patients elect neck or back surgery with the expectation that it will relieve the chronic pain that is disrupting their lives. Adding to the stress and anxiety is the question of whether another surgery will be required to correct the first procedure. Similar to other conditions that cause neck or back pain, treatment for FBSS usually begins with a course of nonsurgical treatment options. We hope that by learning more about the conservative options typically recommended for failed back surgery syndrome treatment, you can have peace of mind as you work with your doctor to find the quality of life you deserve.

Common conservative treatments for FBSS

Diagnosing failed back surgery syndrome is difficult because it can be hard to distinguish issues caused by a surgical problem with some of the normal aches and pains experienced during recovery. A doctor may begin to suspect FBSS if symptoms are still present around three months after surgery, but it can sometimes take as long as a year before a diagnosis is reached.

Most failed back surgery syndrome treatments will begin with a combination of nonsurgical options such as the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological pain management techniques
  • Pain medication
  • Spinal injections
  • Massage therapy

Patients dealing with FBSS may also seek out alternative treatment options such as acupuncture or chiropractic adjustment.

Considering a follow-up surgery

Every person is unique, but many people are able to find lasting relief from nonsurgical failed back surgery syndrome treatment. However, you may be recommended to consider another spine surgery if weeks or months of treatment do not improve symptoms, or if they suddenly worsen.

USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and we have been able to help more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain since 2005. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis using muscle-sparing techniques that can treat a range of spine conditions, including FBSS. Because our surgeons can access the spine with a smaller incision, USA Spine Care offers less risk of complication and no lengthy recovery compared to traditional open back surgery.^

To find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to USA Spine Care today for a no-cost MRI review.*

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