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Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-laminectomy syndrome is a medical condition that is typified by persistent or chronic back pain or even leg pain.

What is post-laminectomy syndrome?

Post-laminectomy syndrome, sometimes also called failed back syndrome (FBS) usually manifests after a back (spinal) surgery and usually after a laminectomy surgery. Failed back syndrome (FBS), is also called “failed back surgery syndrome” (FBSS) referring to post-laminectomy chronic back or leg pain after a spinal cord surgery.

What are the symptoms of post-laminectomy syndrome?

There are various symptoms associated with the post-laminectomy syndrome. The most common symptom is pain, which is often described as diffuse, dull, and aching. The pain may affect the back and even the buttocks and legs. It is often compared to sciatic pain. If the laminectomy affected the neck, the pain may radiate from the neck to the shoulders down to the arms. In this case, the pain and symptoms are compared with cervical radiculopathy. Aside from the pain, symptoms like tingling sensation and numbness are also present.

What causes post-laminectomy syndrome?

This pain condition is often caused by a failed post-laminectomy procedure or a spinal cord surgery, which refers to the displacement or removal of bone behind the vertebrae. The surgical procedure performed on the spine is accomplished to remove the harmful pressure on the spinal cord nerve or nerve roots. However, in some cases, after the laminectomy procedure, the bone/bones or soft tissues remain to press or push harmful pressure on the spinal nerve or nerve roots. As scar tissues develop, the spinal joints start to get irritated by the constant pressing and get inflamed. Hence, the name "post-laminectomy syndrome.” The name came about due to the pain or chronic pain generated after a laminectomy or back surgery.

The following are the possible causes why the failed surgery resulted in the pain condition:

  • Joint instability or hypermobility.
  • Scar tissue formation or otherwise known as fibrosis.
  • Recurrent disc herniation.
  • Permanent damage to the spinal nerves.
  • Increased strain on the nearby joints

How is post-laminectomy syndrome treated?

Laminectomy itself is a treatment. However, due to certain circumstances, it may lead to another pain condition, which is a post-laminectomy syndrome. Luckily, this syndrome is treatable. Treatments include injections, surgical options, and other advanced treatments.

Corrective surgery is the best option if the cause of the pain is identified. For instance, if the pain is due to scar tissue formation, recurrent disc herniation, or residual disc herniation, then surgery may be able to reverse the problem and treat the condition. Injection therapy is also another great option to treat post-laminectomy syndrome. Injections include epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections. Moreover, if there is permanent spinal nerve damage and surgery is not an option, then spinal cord stimulation may help.

AZ Pain and Spine Institute
Post-Laminectomy Syndrome Treatments

Here at Arizona Pain and Spine Institute, we improve our patients’ quality of life by alleviating and managing their pain. Some of our Post-Laminectomy Syndrome treatments include:

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Why choose AZ Pain and Spine Institute to treat your Post-Laminectomy Syndrome?

We have a team of medical practitioners, pain management doctors, and staff who are experts on pain management, including Post-Laminectomy Syndrome. We use state-of-the-art technology and effective approaches in achieving our mission. We care about your well-being and are committed to making your life pain-free.