Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refers to chronic back or neck pain, with or without extremity pain, which can occur if spine surgery does not achieve the desired result. Contributing factors include recurrent disc herniation, compressed nerves, altered joint mobility, scar tissue, muscle deconditioning and degeneration of facet or sacroiliac joints.
Common symptoms associated with failed back surgery syndrome include diffuse, dull and aching pain involving the back and/or legs (or the neck and/or arms). Patients may also complain of sharp, pricking, burning or stabbing pain in the extremities.
Treatment for failed back surgery syndrome may include physical therapy, chiropractic care (for joint-related pain), nerve blocks, pain management, injections or a comprehensive pain management program. Surgery may be considered for structural problems or spinal cord stimulation for pain control.