Failed back surgery syndrome: who has failed?

Al Kaisy, A., Pang, D., Desai, M.J., Pries, P., North, R., Taylor, R. S. , Mc Cracken, L. and Rigoard, P. (2015) Failed back surgery syndrome: who has failed? Neurochirurgie, 61, S6-S14. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2014.10.107) (PMID:25595592)

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Introduction: Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) results from a cascade of medical and surgical events that lead to or leave the patient with chronic back and radicular pain. This concept is extremely difficult to understand, both for the patient and for the therapist. The difficulty is related to the connotations of failure and blame directly associated with this term. The perception of the medical situation varies enormously according to the background and medical education of the clinician who manages this type of patient. Eight health system experts (2 pain physicians, 1 orthopaedic spine surgeon, 1 neuro spine surgeon, 1 functional neurosurgeon, 1 physiatrist, 1 psychologist and one health-economic expert) were asked to define and share their specialist point of view concerning the management of postoperative back and radicular pain. Ideally, it could be proposed that the patient would derive optimal benefit from systematic confrontation of these various points of view in order to propose the best treatment option at a given point in time to achieve the best possible care pathway. Conclusion: The initial pejorative connotation of FBSS suggesting failure or blame must now be replaced to direct the patient and therapists towards a temporal concept focusing on the future rather than the past. In addition to the redefinition of an optimised care pathway, a consensus based on consultation would allow redefinition and renaming of this syndrome in order to ensure a more positive approach centered on the patient.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Taylor, Professor Rod
Authors: Al Kaisy, A., Pang, D., Desai, M.J., Pries, P., North, R., Taylor, R. S., Mc Cracken, L., and Rigoard, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Neurochirurgie
ISSN (Online):1773-0619
Published Online:13 January 2015

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