Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Alternatively known as failed back syndrome or failed back surgery syndrome, post-laminectomy syndrome is characterized by back pain following back surgery, usually a laminectomy, which is the surgical removal of the lamina vertebral bone. (Although, some medical professionals associate this condition with non-surgical causes as well, including facet arthrosis and spinal stenosis.) The most prominent symptom is persistent pain, which can involve both the back and legs. Pain can range from dull and aching to sharp and stabbing. This chronic pain condition has a wide array of contributing factors, including disc herniation, post-operative pressure on spinal nerve(s), scar tissue, musculoskeletal deconditioning, anxiety, and depression. When it comes to post-laminectomy syndrome, a precise diagnosis is key, so if you experience persistent back pain following back surgery, seek medical attention. Diagnosis can involve x-ray, MRI, and EMG studies. Once diagnosed, physical therapy is common mode of treatment and can involve spinal stabilization exercises. In some cases additional surgery or neurostimulation may be recommended.