top of page
Failed Neck Surgery Syndrome 
Anchor 1

What is Failed Neck Surgery Syndrome or FNSS? 

Sometimes, after having a surgery of the neck, pain is experienced by patients even after the recovery period is over – this is called Failed Neck Surgery Syndrome. FNSS is a condition that arises when the intended goals of the surgery are not accomplished and outcome is not as expected. The neck is a part of the cervical region of the spine and has complicated joints, therefore, any surgery is filled with complexities. There is a miniscule probability of the neck surgery not being successful, but this can be applied to any surgery – neck surgery failures fall in between 5% to 20% range.


FNSS might sound like an incurable syndrome but contrary to the belief it can be treated.

Failed Neck Surgery Syndrome Causes

There are various causes leading to failed neck surgery syndrome.

  • Incorrect diagnosis due to which the surgery was performed at a lesion which never was the point of origin of the pain.

  • Sometimes due to incorrect surgery, the nerves might not get properly decompressed.

  • Surgery might cause epidural fibrosis which is development of a scar tissue.

  • Failure of the surgical instruments.

  • Leakage of spinal fluids.

  • Improper bone grafting getting rejected by the body.

There can be many other underlying reasons causing FNSS.

The Symptoms

Painful symptoms almost always accompany any neck surgery as the complications are high. However, if you are ailing from the below symptoms, immediately contact a doctor.

  • A chronic pain that lasts for weeks or months even after the recovery period is over. The pain can be mild or extremely severe.

  • The pain is spreading to other parts of the body like head, arms or shoulders – also called neuropathic pain.

  • Feeling of numbness, tingling sensation, or loss of motion and flexibility in the neck.


FNSS Diagnosis

Going through an elaborate set of procedures, our physicians at Dunes Pain Clinicdo both physical examination and imaging scans to get to the root cause of the FNSS. While conducting the physical examination, the doctor will look for any stiffness or motion restriction. Your nerve reflexes might be checked as well, along with the sensation in your neck and the skin.


Physical examination might only give a partial image of the neck condition. Therefore, your physician might refer to various imaging scans to get a detailed and precise idea of your neck.

  • Bone condition is checked through X-Rays.

  • CT-Scans are performed that give much more detailed information than X-Rays. They are basically three dimensional X-Rays.

  • MRI is performed to get an idea about the neck’s soft tissues, ligaments and muscles.


All the reports that are generated from our elaborate physical examinations and imaging scans are carefully analyzed to make the diagnosis with pin-point precision.

Treatment at Dunes Pain 

The doctors at Dunes Pain Clinic are specialists in non-surgical, surgical and conservative therapies. The patient may be treated using physiotherapy and massages so as to relax the muscles, increase flexibility and strengthen them.


Your doctor can administer over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, and steroid injections so as to give quick relief. However, drug medication is usually not the permanent solution for this condition. If your symptoms are particularly severe, then minimally invasive techniques like facet rhizotomy, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation might be performed on you.


Get your treatment done by the experts. Call Dunes Pain!

bottom of page