Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain as “lumbar spinal pain of unknown origin either persisting despite surgical intervention or appearing after surgical intervention for spinal pain originally in the same topographical location.” The pain may originate after surgery, or the surgery may exacerbate or insufficiently ameliorate existing pain. Thus, failed back surgery syndrome is a syndrome with many causative etiologies and marked heterogeneity among patients. Despite its debilitating effect on patients and relative prevalence among the population receiving back surgery, few high-quality randomized trials exist investigating treatment for FBSS.

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