Post Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
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The symptoms of post-laminectomy syndrome can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain. Some patients experience aches and pains in the lower back, while others endure sharp pain radiating to their legs. For many, the symptoms can cause depression, fatigue, and weakness. To find the cause of your pain, visit Lancaster Orthopedic Group for a consultation. Your doctor can perform new X-rays and an MRI to determine what is causing your symptoms.

Pain that persists after laminectomy

Pain that persists after laminectomy can occur for several reasons. The most common cause of this condition is the rupture of the protective membrane covering the spinal cord, which allows spinal fluid to leak out. Patients must discuss all medications, allergies, and medical history with their neurosurgeon. Menstrual status or pregnancy must be disclosed. Patients who smoke should stop before the surgery. Patients who take blood-thinning medications must stop prior to surgery. Those who fast before surgery should avoid alcohol or caffeine.

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Pain that persists after laminectomy may be a sign of a more severe condition. While most patients recover from laminectomy surgery without any complications, some may experience pain that remains long after the operation. Symptoms of post-laminectomy pain syndrome may include pain after spinal fusion or persistent sciatica. Surgical correction of this condition can lead to a full recovery. However, if you are still experiencing pain despite the surgery, seek immediate medical attention.

Scar tissue that causes pain

One possible cause of pain after a laminectomy is scar tissue that has formed around the nerve root. These scars may be adherent to the spine and cause pain. Stretching exercises can help prevent this from happening. Similarly, scar tissue that develops in the years after surgery is not necessarily caused by scar tissue. The pain may originate from other causes, such as degeneration or adhesions.

Although scar tissue is a common explanation for continued pain following a laminectomy, it’s not always the source of the pain. In fact, it’s more common for secondary problems to arise after a surgery. Symptoms of epidural fibrosis may also lead to pain. The symptoms of epidural fibrosis usually appear six to twelve weeks after surgery. It can also result from trauma to the spinal cord.

Treatment options

While the most common treatment for post-laminectomy syndrome is rest, a doctor may also consider anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and other ancillary approaches. In some cases, corrective surgery may be recommended. However, the right approach depends on the exact diagnosis of the post-laminectomy syndrome. The best treatment for this syndrome depends on the cause of the pain. Here are some tips for identifying this syndrome.

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

The most common symptom of post-laminectomy syndrome is persistent pain in the neck, lower back, or leg. Some patients experience dull aches that radiate to the buttocks or legs. For others, the pain is so severe that they cannot perform daily tasks or sleep. Additionally, many patients experience fatigue, depression, and insomnia after the procedure. To find the underlying cause of the pain, a doctor may perform x-rays or an MRI. If the doctor suspects an infection around the spinal cord, additional blood tests may be ordered.

Limitations of study

One limitation of the study is the lack of a control group at the 2-year follow-up. The study also did not include a control group at the 1-year follow-up because the randomized controlled portion of the study concluded at the primary end-point, with supplementary follow-up through 2 years conducted only for the MILD patient group. Because of the differences in the study’s protocol, blinding of patients may have been difficult. Additionally, the study’s sample size was small, with only 25 patients in the MILD group.


While most people recover completely from laminectomy surgery, a small percentage may still experience persistent pain months or even years after the procedure. While these patients may not have a recurrent spinal condition, the pain is usually more manageable and accompanied by fewer side effects. This condition is also known as failed back surgery syndrome. The pain that remains after spinal surgery is not always related to the surgical procedure, but can be a result of a more serious underlying issue, such as a disease process or a failed fusion.

Patients with this condition often experience pain that radiates to distant parts of the body. Generally, these symptoms appear in the arms and legs. The pain resulting from these symptoms can be very difficult to diagnose. The pain may be caused by a more serious condition like an infection or an abscess in the area surrounding the spinal cord. Further tests may be necessary to make a definitive diagnosis. Fortunately, many doctors are able to determine the underlying cause of a patient’s pain.


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