Unfortunately, 10-40 % of patients still experience pain after spinal surgery. There are many reasons for the patients' complaints. If no identifiable cause, such as a recurrent disc herniation, is visible, this is referred to as failed back surgery syndrome. However, this definition includes a variety of possible underlying causes of the pain, which result in just as many different therapeutic approaches. In addition to pharmacological, behavioral and physical therapy, also neuromodulation techniques can be offered; the best known method is spinal cord stimulation (SCS). The following article describes evidence-based studies with regard to the beneficial treatment of failed back surgery syndrome with conventional tonic SCS and new developments in spinal cord stimulation addressing the treatment of chronic refractory back pain.