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Call Us Today: 952-841-2345

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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

There are a couple of main reasons why an individual may need back surgery. It can be performed to relieve a nerve that is being pinched or to stabilize painful joints.

However, sometimes the patient continues to experience ongoing pain, even after surgery. This is known as failed back surgery syndrome.

What causes failed back surgery syndrome?

Back surgery is a complex matter and, like most surgeries, comes with its own set of risks and potential complications. Some of these complications can result in ongoing pain:

  • Incorrect diagnosis – The most common reason for ongoing post-surgery pain is when the injury that was operated on was not in fact the source of the patient’s pain.
  • Poor surgery results – The surgery does not achieve its desired effect. For example, a spinal fusion does not completely fuse correctly, allowing degeneration to continue.
  • Surgically induced injury – In rare cases, other nerves or tissues are accidentally damaged during the main surgery.
  • Scar tissue – Surgery is, by its nature, a trauma. Scarring is generally the final stage of the body’s response to trauma. In rare occurrences, scar tissue may develop near a nerve root after a back surgery, pressing against the nerve and causing pain.

Failed back surgery pain occurs in a minority of overall cases. However, it is believed that the risk and severity of pain increases with repeated surgeries.

What are the symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome?

Naturally, the most common symptom of failed back surgery pain is persistent pain in the back after spine surgery. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling
  • Leg pain
  • Radicular pain (pain that spreads from one are of the body to another)

How is failed back surgery syndrome treated?

Twin Cities Pain Clinic offers a variety of effective treatments to help provide relief from failed back surgery pain:

Schedule a visit with Twin Cities Pain Clinic to learn how we can help relieve your failed back surgery syndrome pain.


Telemedicine and in-clinic appointments available. Schedule today: 952-841-2345