PT Classroom - Failed Back Syndrome ׀ by Yogendra Bharat, MD


After completing his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Yogendra Bharat began practicing at several locations throughout the area. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and board certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Bharat has specialized in chronic/acute pain treatment for several years. He is dedicated to the treatment of pain associated with headache/neck problems, back problems and trauma-related pain syndromes. He is currently practicing at Advanced Pain Management in Wisconsin and is also a Clinical Associate Professor at UW Madison teaching area residents the complexity and dedication required for the treatment of chronic pain. He conducts seminars throughout the United States as well. Dr. Bharat has a special interest in percutaneous disc procedures and radiofrequency denervation.

What is failed back syndrome?
Failed back syndrome or failed back surgery syndrome is a chronic pain condition that involves back and / or leg pain. It can occur or persist following seemingly successful back surgery.

What are the symptoms/characteristics?

The back pain from failed back surgery syndrome is often described as severe and never-ending. The pain can also worsen throughout the day. Statistics show that of the 200,000 back surgeries performed each year, 20 to 40 percent result in various degrees of failed back surgery syndrome. The most common causes of failed back surgery syndrome are reherniation, scarring (epidural fibrosis) and adhesions, instability, damage to nerve roots through compression, operation on the wrong level, having needed a more extensive surgery than was performed and not having identified the true source of pain prior to surgery.

How is it treated?
The treatment plan for failed back syndrome depends upon many factors, such as the severity of the dysfunction and pain, the type and location of the pain, as well as patient's age, ongoing medical conditions, and ability to tolerate other medical therapies. The doctor will take all of these factors into consideration when prescribing a treatment plan for this condition.

In general, the standard course of therapy for the pain that accompanies failed back syndrome will follow the chronic pain treatment continuum. Treatments may include pain medications and physical therapy, opioids, epidural steroid injection and epidural neurolysis. Neuromodulation therapies such as neurostimulation -- particularly spinal cord stimulation -- may also be an option to treat unresolved neuropathic pain.


For more information on pain management treatment options for treating failed back syndrome and to view informative videos, please click here: Animated Educational Videos.


Last revised: April 14, 2009
Yogendra Bharat, MD

Terms & Conditions

Please review our terms and conditions carefully before utilization of the Site. The information on this Site is for informational purposes only and should in no way replace a conventional visit to an actual live physical therapist or other healthcare professional. It is recommended that you seek professional and medical advise from your physical therapist or physician prior to any form of self treatment.


..="font-size: 2pt">..