Pain after back surgery (also called failed back surgery syndrome) is when the surgery did not fix an existing problem or has created other problems, and you continue to experience pain. Sometimes the pain is worse after the surgery than before it.

There are many reasons for pain after back surgery. The most common reason is that the condition was not identified properly so the surgeon did not fix the problem.

Symptoms of Pain after Back Surgery

After failed back surgery, general back pain, leg pain, or both back and leg pain in many areas is common. The pain can be:

  • Dull and aching
  • Sharp or stabbing

Other symptoms of pain after back surgery include:

  • New back problems
  • Limited mobility
  • Inability to recuperate
  • Spasms
  • Anxiety