Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) is the persistent or recurring pain in your lower back and legs after spinal surgery. This condition occurs when you don’t experience significant pain relief from the surgery and may have new or continued pain, nerve damage, or other complications. The exact causes of FBSS are not clear. Your spine specialist Macon, GA, asserts that the condition can be a result of scar tissue formation, spinal instability, incorrect surgical procedures, or underlying spinal conditions. Treatment options for FBSS may include physical therapy, pain management, nerve stimulation, and in some cases, repeat surgery.
1. Overworked muscles
Overworked muscles can contribute to FBSS by creating an increased load on your spinal structures, leading to ongoing pain and discomfort. When the muscles surrounding your spine become weak or imbalanced, they cannot provide adequate support to the vertebrae, leading to an increased strain on the surgical area. This strain can cause scar tissue to form, resulting in chronic pain and limiting your range of motion in the affected area.
2. Post-surgery complications
Post-surgery, such as infection, scar tissue formation, nerve damage, and dural tear can result in FBSS. Infection can cause pain, swelling, and inflammation at the surgical site, leading to further complications. Scar tissue formation can restrict spinal movement, causing pain and discomfort. Nerve damage can result in numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs and arms, leading to decreased mobility. A dural tear in the protective covering around the spinal cord can cause headaches, neck pain, and nerve irritation. All of these complications can result in chronic pain and limited mobility.
3. Surgery didn’t repair all problems.
Failed back surgery syndrome can occur when the initial surgery does not repair all of the underlying problems that led to the need for surgery in the first place. This occurrence can be due to several reasons, such as scar tissue formation, spinal instability, nerve damage, or additional conditions that your provider didn’t diagnose before the surgery.
4. Recurrent disc herniation
Recurrent disc herniation occurs when your spinal disc herniates again after a previous surgical intervention. The disorder can cause persistent pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area, even after surgery. This failure to resolve the problem can be due to incomplete removal of the herniated disc, scar tissue formation, or degeneration of the adjacent discs. Hence, diagnosing and treating recurrent herniation is crucial to prevent the development of FBSS.
- 5. Technical problems
Technical problems can happen when the procedure doesn’t go as expected, resulting in the persistence or worsening of your original symptoms. Some common technical issues during back surgery include nerve root damage, spinal instability, improper spinal alignment, and incomplete removal of your herniated disc or other spinal structures, causing pain. Technical problems can also arise from surgical instrumentation failures, incorrect patient positioning, or improper placement of surgical implants.
If you experience symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome, call the Spine Center Atlanta office or schedule an appointment online for accurate diagnosis and treatment.