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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)

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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) Treatment & Diagnostics in Chunni Ganj, Kanpur

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)

Failed back surgery syndrome is a condition when people who have undergone spine or back surgery do not get relief from pain. In such cases, it is understood that surgery might have failed. It only means that the surgery did not give the desired results.

What Is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?

Failed back surgery syndrome is not a syndrome as the name indicates. It is only a term used when the surgery done for correcting spine problems does not give the desired results. It can occur with any type of back surgery.

What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of FBSS?

Spine surgeries may fail due to several reasons. Common causes that lead to the failure of surgery are:

  • Improper diagnosis of pain - Sometimes, an orthopedist may fail to diagnose the right cause of the problem. Some problems related to the back have common symptoms which make it difficult to make a diagnosis.
  • Bones fail to fuse - Fusion surgery is done to support the spine using hardware. New bone starts growing and helps vertebrae to fuse naturally. In some cases, vertebrae fail to fuse and may result in chronic pain after fusion surgery.
  • Improper decompression - A herniated disc or spinal stenosis causes pressure on the spinal nerves. Decompression surgery is performed to relieve this pressure. If the surgeon fails to make proper space to relieve pressure on spinal nerves, it will result in the recurrence of a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
  • Degeneration at different spine levels - Successful surgery may be performed at a particular spinal level but degeneration may occur at some other level of the spine which may result in pain.
  • Formation of scar tissue - The formation of scar tissue is a normal process after any kind of surgery but sometimes scar tissue presses upon the nerve roots and results in pain.

Some risk factors such as smoking, obesity, anxiety, and high blood pressure may result in postoperative pain after spinal surgery.

What Are The Symptoms Of FBSS?

The most important symptom of FBSS is continuous pain after surgery. In some cases, pain is severe and in others, pain may have reduced slightly. Some people complain of aggravation of pain a few days after the surgery.

It is a common experience to feel pain and tenderness a few days after surgery but if your pain continues several weeks after the procedure, you may suffer from the FBSS.

You may also feel stiffness, weakness, and spasms of the back muscles.

What Is The Treatment For FBSS?

A second surgery is not advised in most cases. At Apollo Spectra, Kanpur, your doctor will try to manage your pain by using conservative methods. Your doctor will combine two or more treatments to ease your physical and mental health. Treatments used for FBSS include the following:

  • Medications: Your doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications that will help in reducing swelling, pain, and inflammation. Your doctor can also recommend muscle relaxants to reduce muscle spasms.
  • Physiotherapy: Your doctor will recommend physiotherapy after surgery. Physiotherapy helps in increasing the strength of back muscles. It also helps in improving the flexibility and range of motion of your back.
  • Injections: Your doctor may give a steroid injection directly into the back for reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Counseling: Your doctor may refer you to a counselor for reducing your anxiety and depression that may arise due to inappropriate results after your back surgery.

Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Kanpur

Call 1860-500-2244 to book an appointment


FBSS or failed back surgery syndrome is a condition when surgery of the spine fails to relieve the pain in the back and results in aggravation of pain. It is not a syndrome but the result of improper diagnosis of spinal pain.

1. Will I need a second surgery after Failed back surgery?

A second surgery will depend on many factors. If other conservative methods fail to give you relief from pain, your surgeon may plan a second surgery for you.

2. Will I ever get relief from pain?

Yes, a combination of conservative methods including physical therapy, medications, and other injections can give you relief from pain.

3. How will I know if I have failed back surgery syndrome?

If you have undergone any kind of spinal surgery and you are not able to get relief from back pain even after two weeks, you may be suffering from failed back surgery syndrome. Increased back pain and stiffness after back surgery are common symptoms of FBSS.


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