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Discover failed back surgery syndrome treatment options, including outpatient surgery at Laser Spine Institute St. Louis

Failed back surgery syndrome affects many patients who have undergone a traditional open back surgical procedure to treat a degenerative spinal condition. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available to help deal with the symptoms of this condition.

What is failed back surgery syndrome?

Failed back surgery syndrome is a term used to broadly describe the condition of a patient who has undergone open back surgery with unsuccessful results for one of several reasons. This condition can be the result of a procedure that failed to correct the original problem or created additional problems that are causing pain or other symptoms.

How is failed back surgery syndrome diagnosed?

The diagnosis of failed back surgery syndrome requires a detailed medical history, a thorough physical examination and carefully selected diagnostic tests that can rule out other causes and identify the specific issue that is resulting in symptoms. Once these different factors have been thoroughly reviewed, a treatment plan can be devised.

What are the causes of failed back surgery syndrome?

There are several factors that could cause the symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome. One potential cause is a surgical procedure that failed to correct the condition it was targeting. Additional causes could include nerve damage that occurred during surgery, the migration of an implant after surgery, the failure of a spinal fusion or the development of scar tissue that is causing new symptoms to appear.

Failed back surgery syndrome can result in a wide range of symptoms

Because failed back surgery syndrome can be related to any type of degenerative spinal condition, the symptoms can be wide ranging. Some of the more common symptoms include the inability to heal following surgery, aching in the neck or back, ongoing pain, muscle spasms and sharp pains in the extremities.

How is failed back surgery syndrome treated?

There is a wide range of conservative (nonsurgical) options that a doctor may include in a treatment plan for failed back surgery syndrome. These include physical therapy, strengthening and stretching exercises, pain and anti-inflammation medications, epidural steroid injections and hot/cold therapy. Alternative treatments — such as yoga, chiropractic care and acupuncture — have also become popular options.

Can failed back surgery syndrome lead to additional surgery?

While having an additional surgery is likely the last option that someone experiencing failed back surgery syndrome wants to consider, it may be the best choice when conservative treatment methods have failed to produce the desired results. Laser Spine Institute in St. Louis has a proven track record of successful minimally invasive spine surgeries, which is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures.^

Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to help find out if you are a candidate for our outpatient surgical procedures.