Navigating through life while suffering chronic back pain is one of the most difficult and draining things you could deal with. When you opted to get back surgery, you were likely thinking that your pain and worries would stop there. For some people, unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
Undergoing back surgery isn’t always the final step in your journey to eliminating back pain. Some people have the misfortune of experiencing post-laminectomy syndrome, which leaves them with continued or worsening back, neck, or leg pain after surgery.
If you fall into this category, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and you have options.
The lowdown on post-laminectomy syndrome
Also referred to as failed back surgery syndrome, post-laminectomy syndrome is a condition in which persistent or recurrent back, neck, or leg pain is present even after back surgery.
There are several reasons you may experience post-laminectomy syndrome, including the possibility that the surgery may not have been necessary in the first place. But the most likely scenarios are pseudoarthrosis (failed spinal fusion), continued degeneration of a different level of the spine, and spinal stenosis (narrowed spinal column).
If you have had a failed back surgery before, you’re at higher risk of experiencing post-laminectomy syndrome. Other risk factors are:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Facet joint issues
- History of smoking
- Nerve root compression
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Returning disc herniation
- Scar tissue buildup
You may notice an initial improvement after your back surgery, but gradually feel pain returning after months or even years. Or you may feel that the surgery didn’t relieve any of your pain at all. Symptoms that may indicate the presence of post-laminectomy syndrome include:
- Arm pain
- Back pain
- A heavy feeling
- Joint pain
- Leg pain
- Muscle spasms
- Neuropathy pain
- Stabbing or shooting pain
What are my treatment options?
When you come in for an appointment at Houston Pain Specialists, our expert pain management specialist, Hui Kang, MD, discusses your symptoms, performs a physical examination, and puts together a customized, nonsurgical pain management treatment plan for you.
Depending on the underlying cause and the severity of your symptoms, your treatment may involve:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Vertiflex Superion®
Your previous back surgery doesn’t have to be the end of your treatment. A pain-free life is possible with the help of Houston Pain Specialists. Give our Houston, Texas, office a call or request an appointment online today.