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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (Post-Laminectomy Syndrome)
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What is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome or FBSS?

Simply put, when a patient experiences pain even after undergoing surgery of the back or spine, it results in the condition called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. The symptoms of FBSS are basically complications arising out of a surgical procedure that has not fulfilled the desired results. Spinal surgeries are complicated and there is a miniscule probability that the surgery can deviate from the intended goals – almost 95% surgeries are successful. These complications can arise from any surgery on any body part, but the term FBSS has been distinctly named.


Contrary to its name, FBSS is treatable and its symptoms can be tackled through proper treatment.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Causes

The reason that causes failed back surgery is mostly inaccurate diagnosis of the pain’s point of origin. This leads to the surgery being performed on the traumatized nerve or bone that really isn’t the actual cause of the pain. However, the possibility of this happening is low.

Some other conditions that might cause FBSS are scar tissue due to epidural fibrosis and occurrence of spinal stenosis.

The Symptoms

Post-surgery symptoms accompany any surgical procedure and can be painful. This is especially the case if a back or spinal surgery is concerned as the complications are high. But, if you are experiencing the below symptoms then it is time to consult an expert.

  • A chronic pain that does not regress even after weeks or months of recovery time. It can be mild, sharp, radiating or stabbing pain.

  • Neuropathic nerve related pain that is caused by damage to the spinal cord or nerves. It can spread to various parts of the body making it different from localized pain.

  • Muscle spasms that are debilitating and are an impediment to your movements even after the recovery period is over.

  • Feeling of numbness, strange sensation and weakness in the limbs that might be happening due to a compressed nerve.

FBSS Diagnosis

Our physicians and specialists at Dunes Pain Clinic go through an elaborate set of procedures consisting of both physical examination and scans to find the root cause of FBSS. In the physical examination, the doctor might ask you to do certain movements to check whether there is any stiffness or obstruction in your motion. Muscle strength and reflexes might be checked with the help of specific movements. You might be exposed to temperature stimuli for checking the sensation on the surface of your skin.

Apart from the physical examination, imaging scans might be done to get an exploded and detailed view of the tissues, ligaments, bones and muscles.

  • X-Rays might be performed to check the condition of the bones.

  • CT-Scans which creates a 3-D X-Ray by superimposing multiple images. It gives a clearer picture of the bones as compared to MRIs or X-Rays.

  • MRIs are targeted towards getting a detailed view of the soft tissues, ligaments and muscles.


Reports of all these scans and the physical examination are analyzed to diagnose the root cause of FBSS with pinpoint precision.

Treatment at Dunes Pain

Our physicians at Dunes Pain Clinic are experts in non-invasive, minimally invasive and conservative treatment methods. For providing relief to the patient, physical therapy can be used to strengthen the muscle and increase flexibility. Apart from that conservative treatments like massage therapy are known to provide some relief.


Your physician might use pain killers, opioids, muscle relaxants, and steroid based medication for short-term pain relief. Some patients are also prescribed minimally invasive surgical procedures, like radiofrequency ablation, nerve blocks, and facet rhizotomy.


Get your treatment done by the experts!

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