Failed Back Surgery

Failed Back Surgery, or failed back surgery syndrome, refers to back and spine surgery that has left a person with no change in their symptoms, or symptoms that have worsened as a consequence of the surgery. In the journal ‘Spine’, researchers reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation, or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses.


‘After two years, only 26 percent of those who had surgery had actually returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have the surgery, even though they had the same exact diagnosis.” That translates to a resounding 74% failure rate! It also suggests that you have a 257% better chance of returning to work IF YOU AVOID SURGERY in the first place!

In another troubling finding, the researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, particularly opiates, in those who had the surgery. Last year we reported that deaths from addictive painkillers has doubled in the last 10 years. [6]  “The study [1] provides clear evidence that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate pain from degenerating discs doesn’t work”, says the study’s lead author Dr. Trang Nguyen, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. [2]

SOURCE:   SPINE (Phila Pa 1976) 2011 (Feb 15); 36 (4): 320–331


There is no other surgery in medicine that comes close to the failure rate of spine surgery, nor is there another surgery with the moniker failed (insert name here) syndrome. There is no failed heart surgery, or kidney surgery, or gallbladder surgery syndrome. With the dismal statistics of back surgery, and the 11 fold increase in spinal fusion surgeries that account for much of these failed back surgeries in the past several years, it is imperative that you are examined to see if there are non surgical solutions such as the ones we offer here at Integrated Physicians Medical Group that can get you back on your feet and enjoying your life again.