Failed back syndrome is a condition in which a patient has surgery to correct a problem in the back, but still experiences pain or discomfort after the procedure. The procedure, called a laminectomy, is typically done to correct a bulging disc in the spine. Many patients will recover without any issues, but some patients can still experience discomfort. This is also referred to as post-laminectomy syndrome or lumbar post-laminectomy syndrome. It can also affect the neck.

What Are the Symptoms of Post Laminectomy Syndrome?

You may have mobility issues, pain at the surgical site and even leg pain as the result of post-laminectomy syndrome. Poor posture can also result from the condition, as you may be in pain and not able to maintain proper posture.

People with failed back surgery may also be more at risk of depression, anxiety and sleep problems as a result of their chronic pain. They may not be able to engage in their daily activities like they used to, which can affect their quality of life.

Who Is at Risk for the Condition?

Patients who have autoimmune disorders, diabetes or vascular disease are more at risk for failed back syndrome. People who smoke are also more at risk for this condition.

Failed back syndrome can happen if the surgery did not go well, if the surgery wasn’t necessary or if the patient has spinal stenosis, in which the spine narrows and can cause discomfort. For other patients, the bulging disc may not have been completely corrected during the surgery, which can cause additional pain and irritation.

If you’ve had a failed back surgery before, you are more at risk of lumbar post-laminectomy syndrome in the future.

What Can Be Done?

Your doctor may recommend scans or x-rays to potentially identify the cause of your pain following the procedure, which could be due to a compressed nerve, an infection or abscess. Your doctor may also order blood tests to accompany the scans.

Treatment options can vary, based on what diagnostic tests reveal. You may have the option of using medication, physical therapy, nerve blocks, regenerative medicine and even radiofrequency ablation to absolve your pain.

Contact Us Today for an Appointment

If you’re suffering from lumbar post-laminectomy syndrome, don’t hesitate to give the board-certified pain management physicians at Summit Spine & Joint Centers a call. We can help relieve your pain with innovative, minimally invasive approaches. Contact us at (770) 962-3642!