Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Failed Back Surgery Syndrome -- prevention & control; Failed Back Surgery Syndrome -- rehabilitation; Failed Back Surgery Syndrome -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: Low back pain is one of the most common symptoms that individuals experience around the world. The total cost for low back pain in the United States are over a billion dollars per year. Although an ample amount of research has been done looking into the epidemiology and treatment of back pain, many people are still suffering from lack of effective treatments.

Case Description: The purpose of this case report was to describe a patient who was post lumbar surgery to evaluate and examine the benefits of physical therapy. The patient in this case report was a 56-year-old male who was undergoing his second spinal surgery secondary to degenerative disk disease.

Intervention: The patient was treated by physical therapy with therapeutic activity, exercise, gait training and patient education after his first surgery. Physical therapy provided him with patient education and therapeutic activity after his second surgery. Activity was limited due to severe pain.

Outcomes: The patient slowly progressed and was discharged to a nursing home. Ten days later the patient returned with complications due to instrumentation failure and was sent to the operating room for a second surgery. The patient was diagnosed a paraplegia postsurgery. Shortly after, the patient was transferred to a spinal rehabilitation facility for further specialized care.

Discussion: More resources need to be put into researching how common failed back surgeries are and ways to prevent and treat this issue.