If you’re feeling pain from failed back surgery syndrome, your recent back surgery didn’t result in a reduction in your back pain. See your Midtown Manhattan pain specialist for post-laminectomy syndrome treatment. You don’t have to suffer from a failed back surgery when pain relief is so close. Don’t let back pain control your life; get the help you need.
A laminectomy is a major back surgery. Like all surgeries, it’s the last option for your back pain. During a laminectomy, a spine surgeon removes the posterior portion of one or more of your vertebrae. The procedure’s done to provide more space for your spinal cord and nerve roots that exit your spine. If left untreated, the condition can become spinal stenosis.
Post-laminectomy syndrome or failed back surgery syndrome occurs when you feel chronic pain after the surgical procedure that was intended to relieve your painful symptoms. It’s not just frustrating — surgery on your back often takes weeks, if not months, to fully heal — but it can impact the quality of your life. Fortunately, the pain from failed back surgery can be treated.
Recognizing Failed Back Surgery
The reason for a laminectomy is chronic middle back pain, lower back pain or sciatica symptoms. Boney outgrowths put pressure on your spinal cord or nerves, and the surgery removes the offending bone to free your spinal cord of the impingement. When you have failed back surgery syndrome, you still feel back pain and radiating pain down your legs after the surgery.
If you’ve had the surgery, but still suffer from chronic lower back or leg pain, you may have post-laminectomy syndrome. Any type of chronic severe pain can be debilitating, but back pain is especially difficult because it seems like you can’t do anything to alleviate the pain. The symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome may mimic those of other conditions, such as:
- Herniated discs
- Lumbar radiculopathy
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Piriformis syndrome
Causes of Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
Just because you’re still feeling back pain after your back surgery, that doesn’t mean your surgeon did a poor job or made a mistake. With their years of experience, back surgeons rarely fail to perform their duties with skill. The surgery reduces pain in more than two-thirds of those undergoing the procedure. There are other reasons for the post-surgery pain, including:
- Damaged nerves. If you’ve been suffering from back pain for years before having a laminectomy, your nerves — even your spinal cord — may have sustained permanent damage.
- A new problem. Your laminectomy may have succeeded in eliminating the pain you were experiencing. But perhaps your current pain is from a new problem area. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need another surgery, but you should be re-examined.
- Incorrect diagnosis. Spine diseases and injuries are difficult to diagnose, even for the best Manhattan pain specialist. It’s possible that your back pain is being caused by something else or the source of your pain is in a different area.
- In rare cases, you may have developed an infection from the surgery. Although very rare, nerve damage from the procedure is possible. Or there may be another reason why your spine isn’t healing as fully as expected.
Reaching a Diagnosis
Failed back surgery means that the procedure didn’t have the intended result. You’re still in pain. You need to see a New York City pain specialist for an accurate diagnosis. Often, a thorough examination and medical history can tell your doctor quite a bit. But your physician may want to take more x-rays, CT scans or MRIs to be certain.
You can be diagnosed with post-laminectomy syndrome even if you’ve had a different kind of back surgery. As many as 20 percent of people who’ve had back surgery end up with some level of back pain afterward. Some pain after any surgical procedure is normal while you heal, but if you’re still hurting three to six months after the operation, your doctor may report that you have failed back surgery syndrome.
Post-Laminectomy Syndrome Treatment
Back surgery is rarely a first option for resolving back pain. Before you had your surgery, you likely tried more conservative treatments. Now that you’re back in pain, you may have to go through the same cycle for post-laminectomy syndrome treatment, including:
- Physical therapy
- Core-strengthening exercises and stretching
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Injections to place healing, anti-inflammatory, pain-killing medication right where it’s needed
Your Midtown Manhattan pain specialist uses a fluoroscope to guide the needle to where you need the medicine most. A lumbar epidural steroid injection kills the pain, fights infection and reduces the inflammation of your nerve. Other procedures that can help include:
In certain cases, there is no cure, only pain management. Only an experienced sports medicine and pain management specialist can determine what post-laminectomy syndrome treatment is right for you. Surgery remains a remote option, one you likely won’t have to repeat.
Do you have any questions about the post-laminectomy syndrome treatment we offer in NYC? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best rated sports pain management doctor Febin Melepura MD of sports pain management clinic in New York? Please contact our office for consultation with the top pain relief specialist in Midtown Manhattan.