Dr. Ozgur understands that after any spine surgery, some patients may still experience pain. This is called failed back or failed fusion syndrome. It is characterized by difficult pain and an inability to return to normal activities. Surgery may be able to fix failed back syndrome but not eliminate the pain.


The main symptom is pain following back surgery. Additionally, the patient’s ability to complete activities of daily living may be altered.

The most common causes of failed back and failed fusion syndrome and risk factors:

  • Pressure caused by spinal stenosis
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Nerve damage within the nerve (arachnoiditis)
  • Persistent or recurring disc disease at adjacent levels
  • Instability or atypical movement
  • Pseudoarthrosis or failure of the fusion

A diagnosis will be based on the patient’s symptoms and medical history. Additional tests that may be useful include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT scans)

Treatment of failed back and failed fusion syndrome will vary depending on the nature of the condition and the cause the prior surgery to fail. There are patients whose conditions do not to improve even after surgical intervention. In spite of careful diagnosis and a successful operation, patients may continue to experience pain. This continuation of symptoms is known as “failed back syndrome.” A spinal fusion occurs after the surgeon creates the conditions for the bones of the spine to unite into an immobile block. The union of the fusion mass occurs over time. When the time for healing is extended or the fusion fails to unite, this is a called a “failed fusion” or pseudoarthrosis.

Burak Ozgur, MD treats failed back and failed fusion syndrome with minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedures that are designed to help you find relief from pain. Learn more about our minimally invasive procedures or request an appointment for consultation by calling (949) 383-4190 or toll free 888-64-SPINE or Contact Us ➲.