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Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome Facts & Information
Spine surgeons perform back surgery to reduce or eliminate chronic back or leg pain due to spinal nerve compression. Should surgery fail to achieve all of its desired outcomes, the result is known as Post-Laminectomy Syndrome (sometimes called Failed Back Surgery).
When accurately diagnosed, most post-surgical pain can be managed effectively. If you are among those who continue to suffer from back, neck, arm and or leg pain after surgery, we can help.

Up to 20 percent of Americans who undergo spine surgery each year still have some degree of persistent back or leg pain afterwards. When spine surgery does not achieve the results desired by you, and your physician, the condition is then referred to as Post-Laminectomy Syndrome.

Why Does Post-Laminectomy Syndrome Develop?
A variety of factors may cause Post-Laminectomy Syndrome. In many cases, the spinal nerve root, which has been decompressed by the surgery, simply does not fully recover from its prior trauma and continues to be a source of chronic nerve pain. In other instances, the body’s way of healing includes scar formation, which can surround the nerve roots and give rise to chronic pain. Another relatively common occurrence is the presence of structural changes in the spine that develop above or below the site of a spinal fusion. Other causes include recurrent or new disc herniation, post-operative spinal or pelvic ligament instability, such as SI joint dysfunction and myofascial pain.

Some of the most common symptoms of Post-Laminectomy Syndrome include:

• Similar pain you experienced prior to surgery (depends on each case)
• Dull and achy pain that is primarily located in the spinal column
• Sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain – commonly referred to as neuropathic pain
• Leg pain

Proper diagnosis is very important to determine the source of your pain.

In our practice you will go through:
• A complete medical history, analysis of your symptoms, and physical examination
• Testing may include x-rays, MRI and/or CT scans, and electro-diagnosis (EMG)
• These advanced diagnostic techniques definitively pinpoint the source of pain

Possible Treatments:
• Epidural Nerve Block
• Epidural Lysis of Adhesions
• Facet Joint Injections
• Spinal Cord Stimulation
• Radiofrequency Neurotomy or RFA