Failed back surgery

Sometimes back pain surgery doesn’t work. When back pain surgery fails and you are now experiencing severe, chronic pain as a result, you may be diagnosed with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS). For patients who have had traditional open or minimally invasive back surgeries, up to 40% of them may experience FBSS.

Many doctors recommend traditional surgery for back pain that’s associated with a pinched nerve or a damaged joint. Unfortunately, the diagnosis testing might not match up with the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Instead, injections can be helpful in pinpointing the specific cause of the back pain. This can give an accurate diagnosis, which can help your spine specialist find the right course of treatment. Often, there are least-invasive options available for back pain treatment.

What Is Failed Back Surgery?

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a general term used to describe a situation in which patients have recurrent pain after back surgery. The pain may occur immediately after the surgery and never subside, or it may come up gradually. Most non-invasive back surgeries that are preceded by proper diagnosis are successful. However, in a few cases, patients may experience the gradual development of sharp pain in their back after the surgical procedure.

The Causes Of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome can result from many causes. Some of those could be:

Symptoms Of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

The pain a patient may be experiencing because of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome will depend on what kind of surgery they had and what condition was supposed to be treated. It might be a dull ache in your back or a stabbing pain. It might be in one area of your back or radiate into your legs. Other symptoms of FBSS might include:

What Are FBSS Treatment Options?

We offer various types of failed back surgery syndrome treatment in NJ for people who are passing through the travails of FBSS, from pain management to different surgical options. We’ll carefully examine you and come to a thorough diagnosis to determine the source of your pain. We offer both non-surgical and surgical treatment options, chosen depending on the results of our diagnosis and your medical history.

Diagnosing Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

In order to find the best option for back pain relief, our doctors will need to take you through a comprehensive workup. This could include any or all of the following:  

Treatment Options For Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Finding the right back pain treatment for sufferers of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome can be difficult, but your spine specialist will work with you to develop a care and treatment plan to help pinpoint and treat the affected area of your back. We offer numerous options for back pain relief, including:


  • Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy This procedure is used to treat damaged spinal discs using an endoscope. The surgeon will relieve any pressure that’s being caused by the discs on the spinal nerves.
  • Endoscopic Foraminalplasty This procedure is used to treat the foramen, the space where nerves enter and exit the spine. This opening can because smaller and begin to put pressure on the nerves. A spinal surgeon can enlarge the foramen and decompress the nerves.
  • Endoscopic Nucleoplasty – This procedure treats tiny tears in the annular wall of the spinal discs. These tears can be innervated and create back pain. Using an endoscope, a spinal surgeon will look for the tears, ablate the nerves with a radiofrequency probe, and then seal up the tear.
  • Endoscopic RhizotomyThis procedure is useful for patients who can lean forward without back, but experience intense pain when trying to lean backwards. If you have had a percutaneous medial branch rhizotomy with some success, this procedure could benefit you. A spinal surgeon will ablate the medial nerve, providing better long-term results than a traditional percutaneous medial branch rhizotomy.
  • Spinal Cord StimulatorUnder local anesthesia, an electrical current is sent to the spinal cord. The electrical current interrupts the pain signals being sent to the brain by the nerves.


  • Stem Cell Therapy With Stem Cell Therapy, stem cells are injected to specialize into specified cells, heal damaged cells, and repair the damaged portion of the spine.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma TreatmentPlatelet Rich Plasma Treatment uses the natural healing components in the platelets in our blood to repair damaged areas in the spine.


In some cases, failed back surgery syndrome may be a condition that requires living with a long-term diagnosis. This situation occurs when a major neurological deformity or condition developed as a result of the original back or spine surgical procedure. But many cases can be treated successfully with either conservative or surgical treatment options.  


After surgery to correct failed back surgery syndrome, your body will need time to heal. The time required will depend on various factors, including the nature of the FBSS surgery you had. A minimally invasive spine procedure at Spine Institute of North America will have a relatively short recovery period, and you should be able to return to your normal activities within a few weeks.


The success rate for FBSS depends on the kind of treatment option used. When employed with proper diagnosis, non-surgical options like spinal cord stimulation tend to offer a higher success rate than opting for a second operation. But a surgical solution will be necessary if the FBSS has resulted in serious motor weakness or loss of bladder or bowel function in the patient. Contact Spine Institute of North America now for more information about treatment options.