Structural Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)
Failed back surgery syndrome, or FBSS, is a broad issue with an equally broad number of causes. It refers to any pain after back or neck surgery – any pain at all that is significant enough to require an additional treatment.
Some of these causes are non-structural. For example, a person’s mental health can actually cause back surgery to fail, as certain conditions can lead to severe back pain. But other causes are considered to be “structural,” because the causes of the recurrent pain is visible as a structural change in the spine.
What Are The Structural Causes of FBSS?
For surgeons, especially those without significant experience in the challenges of failed back surgery syndrome, determining the cause of FBSS can be tricky. What all surgeons are looking for primarily is a structural cause of the recurrent back pain – something that can be seen visibly in X-rays, MRIs, and CT Scans in order to determine the exact cause of the pain.
In some ways, a structural problem in FBSS is problematic. After all, we do not want to see that there is a problem with your spine, because it may mean that a surgical intervention of some kind is required to see it. But in other ways, it may be useful to see a structural problem, as it means that a follow up treatment or revision spine surgery can be more easily identified.
Examples of structural problems that may create FBSS include:
- Misalignment in the spine after fusion.
- Damage and degradation to adjacent segments
- Recurrent herniated discs.
- Visible spinal stenosis (compressed spinal nerve).
- Sagittal imbalance.
These are only a small sample of the slew of unique challenges that may lead to the development of failed back surgery syndrome. If any structural change occurs, including damage to the spine and problems with spinal hardware, then the cause of FBSS is considered to be structural, and is something that requires a follow up treatment.
Treatment and Surgery for Structural Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
When the cause of FBSS is determined to be structural, it implies that there should be a structural treatment that can effectively cure or eliminate the problem. Generally, a revision surgery – either minimally invasive or invasive – will be required, but surgeons like FBSS expert Dr. James Chappuis and Dr. Julio Petilon of Spine Center Atlanta will explore the least invasive option available.
But the success rate for a repeat surgery tends to be high – especially when compared to non-structural causes of FBSS. Failed back surgery specialists can often identify the specific cause of your back, neck, or leg pain, and then provide an appropriate treatment that will be more likely to solve the issue. While a structural FBSS problem may mean that you need additional surgery, it also means that the issue is likely to be treatable.
Call Spine Center Atlanta Today
If you believe that you have failed back surgery syndrome, or struggle with FBSS, please call Spine Center Atlanta today at 404-351-5812. We are nationally recognized for our work with failed back surgery, and can provide effective treatments to help you live pain free.