Failed Back Syndrome

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Failed back syndrome (FBS) is a well-recognized complication of surgery of the lumbar spine. It can result in chronic pain and disability, often with disastrous emotional and financial consequences to the patient. Many patients have traditionally been classified as “spinal cripples” and are consigned to a life of long-term narcotic treatment with little chance of recovery. Recent progress in our understanding of this complex condition, as well as advances in surgical and medical treatment, have offered hope for improved outcomes and quality of life for these patients.

Review Summary:

This study explores the complex and multifactorial etiology of FBS, including reasons for surgical failure, indications for surgical revision, and adjunctive treatments such as pain management procedures.


Despite extensive work in recent years, FBS remains a challenging and costly disorder. Recent advances in surgical reconstruction, rehabilitation, and pain management technique offer hope for patients with this painful and disabling condition.

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