Post laminectomy syndrome, also called failed back syndrome, is a continuous and chronic pain that can develop after certain types of back surgery.

Neck and Back Pain After Surgery

Failed neck/back syndrome can be described as chronic, severe neck/back and/or arm/leg pain that occurs after neck/back surgery. Multiple factors can contribute to Failed Back Syndrome, which can be extremely troubling and disabling:

  • The original disease has reoccurred or was not treated completely.*Examples include recurrent disc herniation and ongoing pressure on a nerve.
  • Complications may arise from surgery or the natural healing process that follows back surgery.*A joint may become irritated because surgery altered the person's posture and way of moving. Scarring from surgery may cause nerves to become overactive and generate pain.
  • Other condition(s) may mediate ongoing complaint of back pain.*Conditions such as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and/or deconditioning may be present and need to be treated when possible.

Symptoms may include diffuse, dull, and achy pain located primarily in the neck/back and/or arms/legs (see nociceptive pain) and sharp, pricking, and stabbing pain that radiates from the legs (see neuropathic pain).Treatments may range from non-surgical to surgical depending on the cause(s) of pain.

Neurostimulation or intrathecal drug delivery may be considered when other conservative treatments, such as exercise or other manual techniques, have failed and when further corrective surgery is not indicated.

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