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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Tue, Dec 04, 2012 @ 09:48 AM

back surgeryFailed back surgery syndrome (also called FBSS, or failed back syndrome) is the chronic pain in which a patient suffers in their back or leg that appears following a seemingly successful back surgery. Many patients describe this pain to be severe and never ending, often leading to often with terrible emotional and financial consequences. Statistics show that of the 200,000 back surgeries performed each year, 20 to 40 percent result in different degrees of failed back surgery syndrome. Even with the best surgeons and for the best indications there are many reasons that back surgery may not work.

Causes for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

  • Scarring and adhesions (the most common), which damages nerve roots through compression.
  • Failure to adequately diagnose the condition(s) so the lesion that was operated on is NOT in fact the cause of the patient’s pain.
  • Surgery being performed is not actually necessary.
  • Surgery was performed at the wrong level of the spine.
  • A joint may become irritated or inflamed because surgery altered the person's posture, gait, and way of moving.
  • A new spinal condition at another level can be created.
  • Missed fragment of disc or bone that is pinching the nerve.
  • The patient is a poor fit for surgery.

Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

      • Continued pain Anxiety
      • Dependency on prescription drugs Depression
      • Aching pain in neck, back or legs
      • Failure to recover
      • Joint immobility
      • Limited mobility
      • Pain above or below the treated level of the spine
      • Sharp/stabbing pain in extremities
      • Spasm




Any surgery is going to change the back's configuration, which always increases the possibility of new problems. This is why no surgeon can guarantee of long-term success. Is the risk worth it? At the Illinois Back Institute we do NOT do invasive surgery or use drugs! We are able to treat our patient and stop the pain through Functional Disc Rehydration. Developed by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer and the Illinois Back Institute, Functional Disc Rehydration is an effective, non-invasive, non-surgical, drug-free back pain treatment that actually reverses disc degeneration and truly provides a stronger, healthier back. It’s a simple approach to making the back healthier without surgery, injections or medications. Functional Disc Rehydration works towards relieving the pressure off the disc by allowing nutrients to flow back into the disc. In the meantime, the supporting muscles are strengthened and reactivated to help the spine become stable once again.

What Our Patients Are Saying…

pain study functional disc stabilization

What Illinois Back Institute Provides…

Essentially, this innovative and painless treatment is the first to actually reverse disc degeneration and truly provide a stronger, healthier back. You have nothing to lose but your pain! We are covered by most insurances so come visit us! We provide a FREE, no obligation consultation to assess your back pain and the underlying issues, so that we can determine if our proven treatment is right for you. 

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Topics: Back Pain, lower back surgery, spinal surgery, back surgery, Surgery Risks, surgery to repair herniated disc, bulging disc surgery success rate, slipped disc surgery, chiropractic surgery