What is failed back syndrome? | Dr. Andrew Cash, MD Las Vegas, Nevada

By Brooke Strickland and Dr. Andrew Cash

For some people, back surgery is not as a successful as they or their doctors had hoped for.  Many times results aren’t what are expected, even with the most experienced surgeon and a perfect surgical operation.  This is when failed back syndrome occurs.  Failed back syndrome is actually an inaccurate name, as it refers to continued back pain after surgery.  

Back surgery can correct a number of problems and conditions affecting a patient, but many times it simply can’t cut out the pain that the person is experiencing.  This can happen for a number of reasons.  Many times scar tissue can form and cause pressure along the nerves, causing pain.  In addition, if the areas operated on do not fuse, if a nerve is damaged during surgery, or if discs continue to herniate, these can all cause significant pain for the patient.

If you are experiencing continued, persistent pain after your back surgery, visit your surgeon for a detailed re-evaluation.  It’s possible that the surgery fixed an issue that wasn’t the root cause of pain, or damage from the surgical procedure is causing it.  Or, there may be mechanical changes to the spine that are occurring that need to be evaluated closely. 

For more information on this condition, contact Dr. Cash at www.disclv.com.

You can also view Dr. Cash's Verified Reviews here or his personal page at www.andrew-cash-md.com.