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All Posts Tagged: failed back surgery

Is failed back surgery a syndrome?

Failed back surgery syndrome often called FBSS is an inaccurate name used, basically it is not a syndrome, a very broad statement that is frequently used to explain the conditions of patients who had not reaped successful results with back surgery or spine surgery and feel continued pain after the surgery. There may be several reasons that may contribute to back surgery,  even if performed by the best surgeon with the best indication, spine surgery is not more than 95% anticipated of successful results

The spinal surgery basically addresses only two ailments;

  1. Decompress a nerve root that is pinched, or
  2. Stabilize a painful joint.

Usually a back surgery or spine surgery cannot completely eliminate the patients’ pain, however the surgery can only alter the physical structure and any damage caused to the anatomy of the spine. The most probable cause of back pain can be recognized prior to the surgery rather than following the failed back surgery

Expected Pain after failed back Surgery

Several types of failed back surgery are more expected regarding the patient’s pain symptoms than others. For instance

Discectomy for a lower disc herniation causing leg pain is expected to be successful, however, a discectomy for a lower disc herniation causing lower back pain is far less successful

A spine fusion for spinal impermanence is relatively less riskier operation, but a fusion surgery for multiple lower degenerative disc disease are riskier and less successful in reducing patient’s pain after failed back surgery

Hence the best way to avoid spinal surgery that may bring undesired consequences is to opt the surgeries that have a higher degree of success and make sure that any physical injury that can be treated must be identified prior to operation

Causes of failed back surgery and pain afterwards

Additional to the discussed above causes of the failed back surgery, there are many other potential causes of failed back surgery or persistent pain after surgery

  • Fusion surgery considerations
  • Lumbar decompression back surgery considerations
  • Scar tissue considerations
  • Postoperative

The failed back surgery syndrome is basically not a syndrome and there are no distinctive cases. Every patient is different, and a patient’s continued treatment and work up need to be individualized to his or her particular problem and situation.

In case you or any of your loved one is suffering from failed back surgery and looking for a safe and cost-effective treatment, get a professional advice from Dr. Zaki Anwar by placing an appointment at 815-464-7212. He is a world renowned Pain Medicine Physician who has been practicing regenerative injection therapies for the past several years with remarkable results.

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Failed back pain surgery is not indeed a syndrome though it’s generalized term to describe the situation of the patients who go through unsuccessful spinal cord surgery and continue to experience severe pain even after the procedure. The surgery can be unsuccessful due to many reasons even if it is performed by experts with specialized products, it has been observed that the spine surgery, come up with 95 percent success results

Causes for failed back surgery and pain experiences after

  • With spine surgery fundamentally two benefits can be achieved
  • Spine surgery is basically able to accomplish only two things:
  • Uncompressing a nerve route that is pressed
  • Sustaining a painful joint

Basically these procedures cannot basically cure the patient’s pain however this may aid in changing anatomy and any sort of injury that is considerable cause of back pain but is highly recommended that the back pain should be recognized before surgery and not after procedure. Mostly the pain occurs due to inappropriate surgery and the pain occurs due to incisions at an inappropriate area

Predictability of Pain after Surgery

It has been observed that the back pain increases due to some sort of spine surgeries, therefore the best way to avoid is preoperative conceiving studies that will show the involvement of scar tissues, nerve root and surrounding anatomy. Research has been conducted on animals to understand the nature and role of the scar tissues but nothing significant is found on the role of scar tissue in causing pain of spine or leg after surgery.

Techniques Used During Back Surgery

Different techniques have been used in order to block vibration of cells in the area of nerve root. The technologies may be Fat removals from the wound, gelatin sponges and the use of silicon based sheets that restricts the development of epidural fibrosis

Stretching exercise after back surgery

After the back surgery if the nerve tissues are kept mobile it will result in less chances to growth of epidural fibrosis the logic behind lies in the fact, after the surgery most of the scar tissues are formed within initial six to twelve weeks period and if the nerves are kept in mobilization whilst the wound heals the nerves will not get adhesive and the tissues that develop will not create any complication

For instance; if the ankle is pushed routinely while stretching the cramp, wide muscle from back thigh will move the nerve across the operative disc and hence preventing it from adhesion 

When Back Pain is due to Scar Tissue

After complete examination diagnosis and visual aids if it main cause of back pain or leg pain is due to nerve root blockage by scar tissue growth then the treatment option are restricted to few

·   In initial days after surgery medications such as NUERONTIN and daily physical workout may help in reducing scar tissue growth and getting rid of suffering.

·   After the period stated above it is recommended for the patient to consult for the pain management techniques that may probably aid in cope up with pain in leg or back

·   If the pain is observed after a long time of surgery then there might be the possibility of other complications including growth of a bone near the nerves or nerve compression or tethering instead of scar tissues growth because the scar tissues do not grow for years after surgery

·   In case of tethered nerves or compression, decompression surgery may produce good results

·   However if there are no symptoms found for nerve compression, jumping on to scar tissue removal will produce no fruitful result s this is because of

·   Scar tissues are likely to grow again after the spine surgery for its removal

·   Scar tissues are not very common cause of after surgery pain, removing it may not cure the patient’s suffering

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Here Are the Ways To Prevent Failed Back Surgery Syndrome!

For say, if because of a chronic spinal condition you were advised to choose the surgical method. And you underwent the process as well. But unfortunately because of some complications the surgery couldn’t be successful and lead the patient to the failed back surgery syndrome. People who suffer from this trouble are usually the ones who do not take into account all the issues, the risks that can take place in case the surgery goes wrong.

This is for those who are going to opt for a surgical method and should take into consideration the preventive measures that will save them from any expected complications. First of all let’s explore the causes behind failed back surgery.

Common Causes!

Failed back surgery can take many different forms; sometimes it is a chronic pain, a reduction in movement or difficulty in restoring the healthier state.

  • During surgery, nerve or muscle damage
  • Initial misdiagnosis of the condition
  • Observing scars after the execution of the surgical method
  • Prosthetics from artificial disc replacement or rejection of hardware from spinal fusion

How Failed Back Surgery Can be Prevented!

These are the steps that can be taken before opting for any surgery and that will absolutely protect you from any post surgery complications including the failed back surgery syndrome:

Go for a second opinion

If a specialist has recommended you to opt for surgery then there is nothing wrong in taking opinion from some other specialist. This will help in reconfirming the diagnosis or identifying some other point that must have been missed.

Instructions From Your Physician

Before executing the surgery your physician will address to certain issues and give you instructions as to what should be done after the process in order to avail the result as planned. In case you have any questions related to the process, then don’t hesitate in asking him/her as thoroughly knowing about your surgery would be for you own betterment.

Choose an invasive Option

Why opt for a major surgery when you can choose a minimally invasive option in which only a small incision will be made. This will all in all prevent from any afterwards complications such as failed back surgery.

If you or any of your loved one is suffering from failed back surgery syndrome or any other body pain, get a professional advice from Dr. Zaki Anwar by placing an appointment at (815) 464-7212). He is an expert anesthesiologist and certified Pain Management Specialist who has been practicing pain relief techniques for the past several years with effective results.

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Conditions Treated with Spinal Cord Stimulation & its Potential Benefits!!

Tired of opting for the traditional measures and treatments that have given no benefit to your chronic back and neck pain? Choose spinal cord stimulation method; an implantable stimulator that will prevent the pain signals from reaching towards the brain. The spinal cord stimulation is said to be as:

  • An alternative treatment when conventional therapies and medications have not provided any adequate pain relief
  • As a cost effective treatment measure
  • A very reasonable procedure, as compared to other surgical methods

Here are the Chronic conditions treatable

Failed back surgery is known to be as the most common condition in which, spinal cord stimulation procedure is found as the most effective one. The procedure has been experienced as the best and successful one in the situation when one or more surgeries have failed to alleviate the pain in the back, leg or arm. In the below elaborated conditions, spinal cord stimulation is utilized:

Neck pain

The chronic neck pain including the arms and shoulders


The situation in which the spinal nerves become inflamed painfully and the meninges that is the protective layers have become scarred

Complex regional pain syndrome

A progressive disease that is said to come under severe pain and swelling

Peripheral Neuropathy

Constant burning pain felt in the legs as a result when most of the nerves far away from the legs have started dying off


A condition, because of which chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue is experienced

You are the most prospective candidate for spinal cord stimulation method if either you have failed to find relief from the traditional treatments or you are the victim of the above mentioned conditions

Spinal Cord Stimulation is Not Advised If:

Apart from all other information, spinal cord stimulation is not good for the individuals who:

  • Are using a cardiac type pacemaker
  • Are suffering from an infection, right at the location where the device in spinal cord stimulation is supposed to be implanted
  • Are the victims of severe depression
  • Are the patients of drug addiction

If you or any of your loved one is suffering from chronic back or neck pain or any other body pain, get a professional advice from Dr. Zaki Anwar by placing an appointment at (815) 464-7212). He is an expert anesthesiologist and certified Pain Management Specialist who has been practicing pain relief techniques for the past several years with effective results.

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Failed Back Surgery – It’s Causes & Ways to Avoid It!!

Failed back surgery is described to be as a syndrome in which the victims are either the ones who might have experienced a back surgery that has failed to be up to the mark or they are the ones fearful of opting for a surgery. A surgical option is in actuality not a confirm treatment that will give the patients the results they are looking for. In fact there are numerous cases in which people are unable to find relief even after opting for some surgery.

It has been reported that there are almost 5 percent back pain surgeries that earned no benefit to the patients. They continued to suffer from back pain like they used to before the surgery.

What are the Causes!

People opting for failed back surgery, must be aware of the causes that can lead to this painful situation. Because once they are aware they will make sure to follow some preventive measures for it. These causes are elaborated as:

Scar Tissue considerations

A condition in which scar tissues are formed around the nerve root such as epidural fibrosis

Fusion Surgery considerations

This is said to be as an implant failure or a situation in which the next level degenerates or becomes a pain generator

Lumbar decompression back surgery considerations

The condition of recurring spinal stenosis or a nerve root decompression. A case when the nerve to be operated has damaged and there are no chances of healing even after a decompressive surgery

Postoperative rehabilitation

Constant pain as a result of secondary pain generator

Measures to Avoid Failed Back Surgery (FBSS)

But what to do when you have already gone through a surgical method and now you are dreading that what will happen in case of no benefit from the surgery and you will become a victim of failed back surgery syndrome. In such a situation you must be well aware of the measures that might be either best at the time of recovery or increase the chances of a successful surgery.

  • Choose a surgeon who has strong medical background and has completed a spine surgery fellowship’
  • Work on your own self in making yourself healthy before the surgery such as
  • Quit smoking
  • Going for workout daily
  • Make sure that you have people to take care of you after surgery
  • Take proper food and medicine that will speed up the recovery process

If you or any of your loved one is suffering from failed back surgery or any other body pain, get a professional advice from Dr. Zaki Anwar by placing an appointment at (815) 464-7212). He is an expert anesthesiologist and certified Pain Management Specialist who has been practicing pain relief techniques for the past several years with effective results.

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This Way You Can Minimize Failed Back Surgery Syndrome!

There are many people out there, who out of the frustration of constant back pain, finally decide to opt for a surgery. This option, though considered as a complete solution, brings with itself the biggest concern that whether the surgery would work or not. In case after the surgery there is no improvement in back pain, then the condition is said to be failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).

There are ways, by which you can secure your path towards a successful back surgery. These are described as below:

Stay Confident In Your Diagnosis

For your appropriate diagnosis as well as the treatment, the surety of the surgeon who is about to perform the procedure plays a pivotal role. Moreover, the main reason behind the numerous failed back surgery cases is said to be the wrong diagnosis of the proper cause of back pain. A wrong diagnosis means that the surgeon is about to operate the wrong part of the spine which is harmful.

So, the success of your surgery fully depends upon how confident your surgeon is about performing the surgery in the accurate location.

Trusting Your Surgeon

Your spine surgeon, should be fully trustworthy, since you are about to get operated. The best way to check how much reliable your surgeon is, you must ask him/her certain questions regarding the surgery which is about to take place in result of failed back surgery syndrome.

The questions that should be asked include:

  • The number of times this surgery is performed a year
  • How much fare your other patients have given for a similar surgery
  • Are there any patients who would be willing to share their experience with the patient?
  • Who would be there for assistance in surgery?

Successful Rehabilitation

The most common complaint that is heard from the failed back surgery syndrome patients is regarding the improper rehabilitation after the surgery. You must be well aware of all the aspects that would be included in the surgeon’s rehabilitation program. This way you will be informed about how well you will be treated if you are a patient of failed back surgery syndrome.


If you or any of your loved one is suffering from failed back surgery syndrome, get a professional advice from Dr. Zaki Anwar by placing an appointment at (815) 464-7212). He is an expert anesthesiologist and certified Pain Management Specialist who has been practicing pain relief techniques for the past several years with effective results.

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All You Need To Know About Failed Back Surgery

Minor injuries and meager ailments are something common phenomenon in our daily lives that often get healed by taking some rest, relaxation, and non-inflammatory pain relief medication. However, there are certain conditions that demand immediate treatment and proper diagnosis to avoid any sort of long term health issues. Moreover, certain medical conditions even require a patient to go through surgery when other traditional treatment methodologies fail to bring him / her to its normal functioning. But, there are certain cases in which surgery fail to bring the expected results.


Failed Back Surgery

Failed back surgery is the result of persistent pain in the back even after back surgery or surgical intervention that failed to restore a reasonable quality of life as expected. More specifically, it refers to unsuccessful results following spine surgery that has not relieved the original issue or has created other, more significant health problems, resulting in persistent or worsening pain. The patients with failed back surgery may experience or develop numerous symptoms in varying intensities, such as:

  • Persistent or chronic pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Pain below or above the treated level of the spine
  • New spine conditions
  • Inability to recuperate
  • Stabbing pain in the extremities
  • Dull, aching pain in the legs, back, or neck
  • Spinal joint immobility
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Spasms
  • Dependence on prescription drugs


Solution and Treatment for Failed Back Surgery

Since failed back surgery is not a specific spine condition, every patient’s individual history and symptoms need to be thoroughly reviewed, properly diagnosed, and carefully evaluated to determine the best and most effective course of treatment. Often initial treatment may involve following mythologies:

  • Injections or Nerve Block: It is used to temporarily block the pain.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation: It results in significant pain relief with placement of stimulator implant in the spinal canal.
  • Intrathecal Drug Infusion: It delivers direct pain relief medication to the affected area with the help of catheter.



Failed back surgery refers to unsuccessful results following back or spine surgery to treat neck or back pain. In case you or any of your loved one is victim of the surgery and looking for an effective treatment, get an expert advice from Dr. Zaki Anwar by placing an appointment at 815-464-7212. He is a certified Pain Management Specialist who has been practicing effective pain relief therapies for the past several years with successful results. We will respond your queries within 24 hours.

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