Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Definition

Failed back surgery syndrome is not actually a syndrome but rather a misnomer that describes continued pain after back surgery. There is no such applicable term for other types of surgeries.

Continued back pain after surgery may occur for different reasons, with the number-one reason being that the anatomical lesion (injury) that was operated on was not the actual cause of back pain. The best way to avoid failed back surgery syndrome is to ensure that an anatomic lesion that is amenable to surgical correction is identified prior to surgery and to stick to spine surgeries that have high degrees of success rather than surgeries that are riskier and less proven.