Spine Associates - Back to Normal

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) refers to chronic back or neck pain, with or without extremity pain, which can occur if spine surgery does not achieve the desired result. Contributing factors include recurrent disc herniation, compressed nerves, altered joint mobility, scar tissue, muscle deconditioning and degeneration of facet or sacroiliac joints.  Dr. Francis is a fellowship-trained, board-certified spine surgeon and has extensive experience treating failed back surgery syndrome. Spine Associates offers accurate diagnosis and advanced treatment for a variety of spinal conditions. To learn more about treatments and causes of FBSS, request a consultation in Houston or Beaumont. Or you can call us at 1-713-383-7100 to schedule your appointment.


Patients with failed spinal surgery have either a new or persistent pain in the back or legs following spine surgery. The pain may be similar to the pain experienced before surgery, or it could be a new pain of a different degree or in a different spot. The location of the fracture in the spine will determine where the symptoms are experienced. The severity of the symptoms depends on extent of the damage, ranging from a strained ligament or muscle to an injured spinal cord.


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Dr. Francis will review the treatment history, particularly the type of surgery done and for what reason. Particular attention is paid to the result of the surgery and how the symptoms have evolved following the surgery. X-rays and physical examination will also be performed. Additional diagnostic testing may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and the true source of pain.



Dr. Francis takes several factors into consideration before determining the optimal treatment plan for failed spinal surgery. Consideration is taken for the original surgery that was performed, symptoms experienced before the original surgery and after the surgery, and the nature of a patient’s current pain.


Treatment for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) varies depending on the reason for the failed surgery. Surgical treatment may include repeat lumbar decompression, spinal fusion or removal of painful hardware.