Failed Back Syndrome Enhancing surgical outcomes and improving quality of life through compassion & innovation.

Failed Back Syndrome

Failed Back Syndrome is not actually a syndrome but a generalized term used to describe the condition of patients who have not had successful results from back surgery and have continued pain after surgery. Although most people experience satisfactory results after back or neck surgery there are those patients that continue to have pain and/or symptoms following their surgery. Even with the best surgeon, the careful and exact diagnosis and the correct indicated surgery there are various reasons why there may be an occurrence of failed back syndrome.


Patients experience failed neck syndrome when:

  • The surgery does not fix the original problem
  • Scarring or other complications exacerbate existing conditions
  • Implanted surgical device failure
  • Bone and tissue do not heal properly


Many patients with failed back syndrome may experience sharp or dull pain in the localized region of the back or it may radiate to the legs. Symptoms may vary depending out the surgical procedure and original condition.


Proper diagnosis is essential in the successful recovery and treatment of the patient. Our experts at SCCNS have corrected numerous conditions of failed back syndrome that have been referred to us for evaluation. Our team goes through a series of diagnostic measures including review of all previous medical records dealing with your original surgery, rehabilitation and recovery as well as any other history that may help in identifying the cause of your failed back syndrome.

It may also be necessary to do have new Xrays, MRI's or CT scan done if there are not any for comparison.


As with any condition, we prefer to use the most minimally invasive treatment that provides the most benefits to the patient. Because there are different variables as to why failed back syndrome occurs, this condition is reviewed on a case by case basis. The healing and recovery time from different spine surgeries may take from three months to a year, therefore it may be necessary to monitor progress during rehabilitation after surgery to determine if a patient has failed back syndrome. We encourage our patients to initiate and continue the physical therapy program if included in their surgical treatment plan.

In order to determine treatment it is necessary to be able to identify the source of pain that the patient is experiencing after the original surgery. If the source of pain still can be identified after the first surgery, corrective surgery may be attempted again. If corrective surgery is necessary (especially in the case of having a corrective procedure performed by our doctors that is a treatment for a surgery done elsewhere), your expert neurosurgeon will explain in detail the problem and the procedure to be done.

Before any additional surgeries are performed, the experts at SCCNS will use our multidisciplinary approach to treat the patient through conservative measures.

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