According to some studies, as many as 30-40% of patients experience pain associated with failed spine surgery syndrome every day, after having classic spine surgery, especially microdiscectomy.
Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Some of the most common causes of failed open back surgery are:
- Residual foraminal stenosis due to inadequate exploration of the nerve root during open back surgery.
- Residual spinal stenosis due to failure to appreciate the spinal anatomy during surgery.
- Spinal instability due to removal of too much of the central disc or removal of too many supporting ligaments.
What is FBSS?
Following open spine surgery, whether it is a fusion, a discectomy or a laminectomy, patients can continue to experience chronic pain in the back and or the arms or legs. When these symptoms are the result of a previous open or fusion spine they are termed by surgeons and the medical community to be Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS).
Most open back surgeries include one form of fusion. The true test of whether an open back surgery is successful is the actual reduction of pain.
For single level fusions, the percentage of patients obtaining significant pain relief is 40–80 percent, while with three levels, this drops to approximately 15 percent.