About Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?

Spine surgery is more effective than ever and minimally invasive procedures have allowed spine surgery to be performed with less surgical trauma, less postoperative pain, and a quicker recovery. The overwhelming majority of spine surgeries are very successful.

Failed back surgery syndrome is a term used to describe symptoms that occur after an unsuccessful spine surgery.

Symptoms you should look for are:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Stiffness

Symptoms may be experienced in the spine and/or extremities.

Common Causes:

  • A compression nerve root
  • A failed implant
  • Inadequate bone fusing
  • Scar tissue

When diagnosing a failed back syndrome, OPA Spine Team Specialists:

  • Obtain the patient’s medical history
  • Perform a physical examination to check for symptoms and test spine strength and flexibility
  • Analyze X-rays

An OPA Spine Team Specialist will determine the cause of your failed back syndrome and creates a treatment plan to improve symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options are usually prescribed to treat failed back syndrome:

Anti-inflammatory and pain medications

Prescription strength aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Celebrex, acetaminophen.

Physical Therapy

One of OPA’s onsite physical therapist works with the patient to stretch and strengthen spine muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Bracing

Supports the spine.

Injections

An injection of steroid and anesthetic medications.

A Nerve Block or Rhizotomy

Deadens a nerve to decrease pain signals to the brain.

A Nerve Decompression

removes pieces of bone to take pressure off a compressed nerve.
Minimally invasive treatment options may be recommended for you to treat some cases of failed back syndrome:

  • A corticosteroid injection quickly relieves inflammation and pain
  • A nerve block or rhizotomy deadens a nerve to decrease pain signals to the brain
  • A nerve decompression removes pieces of bone to take pressure off a compressed nerve

In some instances, a second surgery may be needed to correct the underlying cause of pain or to remove or replace an implant that is compressing the spinal nerve roots or spinal cord.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Spine Specialists, Dr. Mark Flanum, Dr. James Eule, and Dr. Curtis Mina are experts in treating failed back syndrome.

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment to see one of our Spine Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.

Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Spine Team

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Dr. James Eule

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Mark Flanum

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Curtis Mina

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Sean Taylor, MD

Pain Management

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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