Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

OPA treats a wide variety of back conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.

What is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?

Spine surgery is more effective than ever and minimally invasive procedures have allowed spine surgery to be performed with less surgical trauma, less postoperative pain, and a quicker recovery. The overwhelming majority of spine surgeries are very successful.

Failed back surgery syndrome is a term used to describe symptoms that occur after an unsuccessful spine surgery.

Common Causes:

    • A compression nerve root
    • A failed implant
    • Inadequate bone fusing
    • Scar tissue

Symptoms may include:

    • Pain
    • Weakness
    • Numbness
    • Stiffness

When diagnosing failed back surgery syndrome, The OPA Spine Team:

    • Obtain the patient’s medical history
    • Perform a physical examination to check for symptoms and test spine strength and flexibility
    • Analyze X-rays

An OPA Spine Team Specialist will determine the cause of your failed back syndrome and creates a treatment plan to improve symptoms as quickly as possible.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options are usually prescribed to treat failed back syndrome:

Our skilled team of Spine Specialists will utilize conservative methods which include:


A removable back brace.

Oral medications decrease nerve inflammation and pain.
Physical Therapy
One of OPA’s onsite physical therapist prescribes and monitors strengthening and stretching exercises.

Minimally invasive treatment options may be recommended for you to treat some cases of failed back syndrome:


    • A corticosteroid injection quickly relieves inflammation and pain
    • A nerve block or rhizotomy deadens a nerve to decrease pain signals to the brain
    • A nerve decompression removes pieces of bone to take pressure off a compressed nerve

In some instances, a second surgery may be needed to correct the underlying cause of pain or to remove or replace an implant that is compressing the spinal nerve roots or spinal cord.

Our Spine Team

The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading spine specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced failed back surgery syndrome treatment procedures available today.

OPA treats a wide variety of back, neck, and spine conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.

All treatments work to restore pain-free spine function that allows patients to lead active, fulfilling lives, be it walking pain-free or getting back into athletic action.

Skip to content