Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Failed back syndrome (FBS), also called “failed back surgery syndrome” (FBSS), refers to chronic back and/or leg pain that occurs after back (spinal) surgery, usually after laminectomy. It is characterized as a chronic pain syndrome.

Contributing factors include but are not limited to residual or recurrent disc herniation, persistent post-operative pressure on a spinal nerve, altered joint mobility, joint hypermobility with instability, scar tissue (fibrosis), depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and spinal muscular deconditioning.

Due to systemic disorders such as diabetes, autoimmune disease and peripheral blood vessels (vascular) disease. Some individual may be predisposed to the development of FBS.Causes

  • Herniated disc
  • Post-operative pressure on the spinal nerve
  • Joint stiffness
  • Scar tissue
  • Vascular disease


  • Pain isolated to one side of the body
  • Dull, aching pain in the back or legs
  • Sharp pricks of pain in the extremities
  • Constant or persistent pain


  • Physical therapy
  • Minor nerve blocks
  • Electrical nerve stimulation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

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