Failed Prior Spine Surgery

Learn about the signs, symptoms and treatments

Patients who have been dealing with chronic neck or low back pain often are relieved after finally deciding to move forward with spinal surgery. Every patient’s hope is to have that “one and done” procedure that resolves all symptoms. Unfortunately, many patients that we see at the Virginia Spine Institute have had an outside surgery and not achieved their expected goal or return to their quality of life. Our job as spinal specialists is to educate each patient about their specific spinal issues and review all treatment options available. Sometimes for those that have failed prior spinal surgery that may involve another surgical procedure. See below to learn more about why our center may be the best location to treat your prior failed spinal surgery.

Conditions That May Be Causing Your Failed Prior Spine Surgery

Failed Neck & Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS)

The fear of a Failed Neck & Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) is felt by many frustrated patients who are dealing with back pain or nerve complications and are now contemplating an additional spine surgery. The spine is a very complicated part of the human body, and surgery in this area is delicate and intricate. Luckily, for patients suffering with a Failed Neck & Back Surgery Syndrome, the number of options available (and the potential for success of corrective surgery) has improved immensely over the last few decades. At Virginia Spine Institute, we are one of the unique centers in the nation who specialize in resolving Failed Neck & Back Surgery Syndrome for patients. If you suffer with pain after spine surgery, we will pinpoint the root cause and provide modern and effective solutions to improve your quality of life!



Pseudarthrosis of the spine is also referred to as a non-union and means ‘false joint’. It is the result of a failed spinal fusion. Pseudarthrosis can occur at any place where spinal fusion was attempted and presents as either axial (neck or back) or radicular (arms or leg) pain that occurs months to years after a previous lumbar fusion. One of the goals of fusion surgery is for the bones to heal together or “weld” into one solid piece of bone. For fusion surgeries, bone graft is used to achieve fusion and the fusion heals much in the same way a broken bone heals in a cast. If the bones do not “weld together” properly, then motion may continue across the area. For some patients, motion in that area can cause pain similar to that of a broken bone that never heals. Many patients with pseudarthrosis do not have any particular symptoms, and for these patients further treatment and evaluation is not always needed.


When to Seek Care for Your Failed Prior Spine Surgery Symptoms

Revision spinal surgery is a broad topic as multiple different scenarios can warrant a revision surgery. Often, patients present because they had a previous surgery and never felt fully improved after that procedure. Some patients also will describe pain that worsens after surgery or returns shortly after. These symptoms can include neck, mid or low back pain possibly extending into the arms and/or legs. Patients may also experience numbness and tingling as well.

Our Doctors That Treat Failed Prior Spine Surgery

Dr. Colin Haines I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon
Director of Research

Dr. Christopher Good I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ehsan Jazini I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon

Dr. Thomas Schuler I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon

See What Our Patients Are Saying

“I’m back to living an active lifestyle after spine surgery!”

– Barbara J.

Videos About Failed Prior Spine Surgery

Common Reasons to Visit a Spine Surgeon

3 Most Common Causes of Back Pain

Schedule a Failed Prior Spine Surgery Consultation