Has An Operation Failed To Relieve Your  Pain?

Failed back surgery syndrome, also known as post-laminectomy syndrome, refers to the chronic back and/or leg pain that is not relieved by—or occurs as a result of—spinal surgery. Up to 40% of patients who undergo traditional open back surgery suffer from FBSS.

“It’s like my life is back after 10-15 years in bed”

-Carla K.


Cause/Risk Factors of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Primary causes of FBSS include:

  • Poor preoperative patient selection, including failure to diagnose the condition
  • Failure to adequately treat the condition
  • Technical error during surgery
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Inadequate decompression of a nerve root
  • Nerve damage


Symptoms include severe pain, chronic pain, or constant pain, as well as the inability to find a comfortable position to alleviate your pain.


Diagnosis of FBSS generally includes:

  • Physical Exam: During a physical exam, a patient’s posture, gait, and range of motion will be evaluated—as will any asymmetry, deformity or curvature of the spine. Palpation along the spine may reveal areas of localized tenderness from prior surgery, and a complete neurovascular and musculoskeletal exam may be used to rule out all possible causes of symptoms other than FBSS.
  • Tests: An MRI or CT scan can be performed to evaluate persisting nerve compression or other disc disease and to rule out infection or tumor. Lab studies can also be performed to include blood work to detect infection.

Treatment Options

At PMIR Medical Center, we understand that pain is a complex condition that affects the whole person—body, mind and spirit. We provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treatment, customizing the most effective treatment plans for our patients and empowering them to become a collaborative partner in their recovery process.

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