Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a pain condition refractory to therapy, and is characterised by persistent low back pain after spinal surgery. FBSS is associated with severe disability, low quality of life and high unemployment. We are currently unable to identify patients who are at risk of developing FBSS. Patients with chronic low back pain may display signs of central hypersensitivity as assessed by quantitative sensory tests (QST). This can contribute to the risk of developing persistent pain after surgery.