Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: A Review Article

Asian Spine J. 2018 Apr;12(2):372-379. doi: 10.4184/asj.2018.12.2.372. Epub 2018 Apr 16.


Postsurgical spine syndrome is becoming an increasingly common challenge for clinicians who deal with spinal disorders owing to the expanding indications for spinal surgery and the aging world population. A multidisciplinary approach is most appropriate for patients who are unlikely to benefit from further formal surgical intervention. Anticonvulsant medications are effective in managing neuropathic pain after surgery, whereas opioids are rarely beneficial. Neuromodulation via a surgically implanted dorsal column neurostimulator is gaining popularity owing to its substantial superiority over conventional medical management and/or further surgical intervention. However, considering that prevention is always better than cure, spinal surgeons need to be well aware of the many poor prognostic indicators for spinal surgery, particularly psychosocial overlay.

Keywords: Chronic pain management; Failed back surgery syndrome; Neuromodulation; Postsurgical spine syndrome; Repeat spinal surgery; Spinal cord stimulation.

Publication types

  • Review