What are the risk factors for the development of failed back surgery syndrome?

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a general term used to describe any chronic pain and symptoms that develop as a result of a failed back surgery or the continuation of pain and symptoms that the back surgery did not treat. While back surgery is a complex operation, there are several risk factors for the development of FBSS that can be avoided. The first and most important step is understanding the type of procedure you are about to undergo.

Generally, traditional open back surgery has a higher rate of failed back surgery syndrome than other forms of surgery, such as minimally invasive spine surgery. Unlike the minimally invasive approach taken at Laser Spine Institute, traditional open back surgery uses a large incision that cuts and tears the large muscles that help support the spine. This excess cutting increases the risk of nerve damage, postoperative complication and infection when compared to minimally invasive spine surgery.^

Causes of failed back surgery syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome can be brought on by a number of factors typically found in traditional open back surgery, including:

  • Rejection of hardware
  • Formation of scar tissue
  • Remaining bone or disc fragments continuing to press on nerves or other tissue
  • Nerve damage
  • Improperly diagnosed condition
  • Improper treatment
  • Surgery at the incorrect level of the spine
  • Spinal fusion failure

Finding relief from failed back surgery syndrome

Patients diagnosed with failed back surgery syndrome can find relief with the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. We understand that after undergoing a failed back surgery, having another surgery is probably not your first choice of treatment. However, our minimally invasive procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery^ because we use a small incision that does not require detachment of the muscles. Reach out to our dedicated team to determine if you could be a potential candidate for our procedures.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. We offer both minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery. Our decompression surgery is often used to help treat many causes of failed back surgery syndrome, though our stabilization surgery may be used to help treat severe damage and instability in the spine. Contact us today for more information and request a no-cost MRI review* to take the next step toward reclaiming your quality of life.