If You’re Experiencing Pain after Neck or Back Surgery, It Might be Post Laminectomy Pain Syndrome

You may have had neck and back surgery in hopes of getting rid of your pain. After your recovery from the surgery, you probably expected to feel better. But sometimes, surgery yields unexpected results. Because back surgery involves such delicate nerves and small spaces, it is an inherently risky process.

While the surgery is complete, you still have pain—maybe even more pain than you were in before. This is called post-laminectomy pain syndrome, also known as failed back surgery.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live with the pain forever. Let Dr. Jay M. Shah of the Samwell Institute for Pain Management help you get your life back. For patients in Colonia and West Orange, New Jersey, our expert team is here to help you understand your symptoms and manage your pain.

How does post-laminectomy pain syndrome develop?

There’s no exact way to predict which patients will go on to develop post-laminectomy pain syndrome. But certain factors do make the syndrome more likely to occur after surgery.

The spinal nerve is often decompressed during surgery. When the surgery is over, many people recover to find that their spine returns to normal. In some patients, however, the spinal nerve remains decompressed and the initial trauma remains.

Scars can also develop around the root of the nerves, including the sciatic nerve, which can cause further pain. Some patients also develop new or recurrent disc herniation, unstable ligaments, or an unstable spine.

Post-laminectomy pain syndrome can occur after many different types of surgeries on the neck or back, including lumbar laminectomy, fusions, and discectomy to treat sciatica.

What are the symptoms of post-laminectomy pain syndrome?

Post-laminectomy pain syndrome is a significant cause of pain and disability. Common symptoms of post-laminectomy pain syndrome include the following:

Who is at greater risk of getting post-laminectomy pain syndrome?

Anyone who has had surgery on their back or neck is potentially at risk of developing this syndrome. However, certain patients are much more likely than others to develop post-laminectomy pain syndrome, including the following:

How is post-laminectomy pain syndrome diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose post-laminectomy pain syndrome by the use of imaging tests such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electromyography, and computed tomography (CT) tests. They look for visual confirmation of the patient’s self-described pain and coincide these findings with a physical exam and possibly a nerve test or EMG/NCV.

How can post-laminectomy pain syndrome be treated?

There are several ways that post-laminectomy pain syndrome can be treated. Among the types of treatment include the following:



If you’ve had surgery on your spine or neck and are still experiencing pain, you don’t have to live with it forever. Talk to our expert team at the Samwell Institute for Pain Management today by calling or booking an appointment online.

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