Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)

What is Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)?

FBSS does not imply there was necessarily a problem during surgery but refers to the condition of continuing pain even after surgery. The pain may be reduced but is still present or may get worse within a few months after surgery due to a buildup of scar tissue around spinal nerve roots.


The contributing factors associated with FBSS vary and may include:

  • Disc decompression
  • Herniation of an adjacent disc as a result of the surgery
  • Failure to fully repair a herniated disc
  • Post-surgical scar tissue formation
  • Decreased muscular support in the surgical area
  • Inadequate post-operative rehabilitation

The two main goals for spine surgery are to accomplish decompression of nerve root that is pinched, or stabilize a painful joint. Unfortunately, back surgery or spine surgery may not relieve a patient’s pain completely. It can change the anatomy, and an anatomical lesion or injury that is a probable cause of back pain must be identified prior to rather than after back surgery or spine surgery.

The main complaint with a nerve root damage is pain in the back with radiating pain in a leg. The pain can be sharp and stabbing, and muscle weakness and tingling can also occur.

Treatment for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome


The Nordic Health physical therapist measures the spine using our proprietary medical equipment with strength, mobility, and strength-balance testing functionality. The results are compared against the normative values of a healthy spine considering the height, weight, age, and gender of the patient.

Based on this information we develop an individualized treatment plan to safely exercise the spinal core muscles. We have consistently been able to deliver great clinical outcomes with significantly increased mobility, endurance, and strength levels to help improve the patient’s daily life.

Who is a candidate for Nordic Health?

Nordic Health Spine+Ortho is a clinic-based, physician-driven, patient-centric treatment program for those with spine and orthopedic pain:

  • Backneck, shoulderhip, and knee pain
  • Sudden onset of pain
  • First-time episodes of pain
  • A history of chronic pain and/or decreased function
  • Post-surgical patients (requires a surgeon’s approval)