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Failed Back Surgery

What is failed back surgery or post laminectomy syndrome?
Failed back surgery, also known as failed back syndrome or post laminectomy syndrome, is a generalized term to describe the condition of patients whose back or spine surgery was not successful and are suffering from chronic back or leg pain.

What are the contributing factors of failed back surgery
(post laminectomy syndrome)?

There are many reasons why a surgery may result in failed back surgery (post laminectomy syndrome); however, the primary reason is that the injury (or lesion) that was operated on was not the source of the pain. Additional possibilities include:

  • Residual or recurrent disc herniation
  • Post operative pressure on a spinal nerve
  • Altered joint mobility
  • Scar tissue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The following are not causes of failed back surgery or post laminectomy syndrome but can contribute to poor recovery.
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Smoking

What are the symptoms of failed back surgery (post laminectomy syndrome)?
Common symptoms of failed back surgery or post laminectomy syndrome include:
  • Dull and aching pain in the legs and or back
  • Sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain in the extremities

What are the treatment options for failed back surgery
(post laminectomy syndrome)?

Treatment options for failed back surgery (post laminectomy syndrome) include:
  • Physical therapy
  • Nerve block injections
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (low-voltage currents to tissues to help decrease pain)
  • NSAIDS medications (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Antidepressants
  • Spinal cord stimulator
  • Pain pump
  • Behavioral medication
  • Epidural injections

How can I avoid failed back surgery (post laminectomy syndrome)?
The best way to avoid failed back surgery or post laminectomy syndrome is to try alternative treatment options for pain management. If you have determined that surgery is your best option research the surgery and make sure the successful outcome statistics are high. Additionally it is important to ensure that the injury you will be having surgery on is in fact the source of your pain.

For additional information on failed back surgery or post laminectomy syndrome please call Southeast Pain Care to schedule an appointment with one of our pain management doctors.

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