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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

What Is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?

Failed back surgery syndrome is a condition where pain and other symptoms develop after an unsuccessful back surgery. Pain and stiffness are common after back surgery, but when it is chronic and not related to the healing process, it may be failed back surgery syndrome.

Spine surgery can be complex, and spine or back injuries can be difficult to treat. Unfortunately, not all procedures will eliminate back pain.


The symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome include:

  • Back spasms
  • Chronic back pain
  • Dependence on pain medication
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty moving
  • Inability to recovery from surgery
  • Numbness
  • Pain that radiates from the lower back into the legs
  • Sharp or stabbing pain
  • Trouble sleeping

Treatment Options

Your doctor will likely start with conservative treatments for failed back surgery syndrome. In some cases, additional surgery may be required. Treatment options for failed back surgery syndrome include:

  • Behavioral health therapy – Talk therapy can help you develop mental and emotional coping skills when dealing with pain.
  • Injection therapies – Injections can help manage various types of pain by blocking nerve signals. We offer nerve blocks including trigger point injections, peripheral nerve blocks, sympathetic nerve blocks, epidural injections, facet joint injections, sacroiliac joint injections, and botox amongst others.
  • Medication management – Your doctor may recommend medication, such as intrathecal drug delivery (pumps), over-the-counter pain relievers, topical ointmen-ts, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, anti-epileptics, and weak strong opioid medications to treat your pain.
  • Stimulation therapies – Procedures can stimulate the nerves and regulate their signals to reduce pain. We offer dorsal root ganglion stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation and spinal cord stimulation.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat failed back surgery syndrome.