Laminectomy Syndrome, a Failed Back Surgery?

What is Post Laminectomy Syndomre?

The best possible explanation for what post laminectomy syndrome is would be a back surgery procedure that has failed to correct the pain and/or made it worse. Even though the term states the word laminectomy, the failed back surgery does not need to be a laminectomy to be classed as post laminectomy syndrome. There are many reasons why you may have back pain after laminectomy surgery but before we get into that we should understand why a laminectomy procedure is performed. A laminectomy procedure is performed to relieve pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord, also known as nerve compression that is most often caused by spinal stenosis.

Why does laminectomy syndrome occur?

Lack of surgical expertise – One of the problems that can occur is that the operating surgeon is just not experienced enough to perform the surgery properly. Sometimes the nerves or compressed tissue are not actually decompressed enough.

Spinal Instability – this could very well tie in to the lack of surgical expertise as well. If the surgeon has removed enough of the spinal structure a spinal fusion may have been needed to provide the added stability. If the surgeon did not recognize this and ignored the fusion, you spinal column could become unstable causing the laminectomy syndrome pain.

Improper diagnosis – one of the number one reasons for post laminectomy syndrome, or failed back surgery, is an improper diagnosis. Often times with a misdiagnosed condition the treatments are wrong to begin with. If the condition is diagnosed correctly but the location of it is wrong, then you would essentially be treating the wrong area of your spine. The interesting aspect of this is that even though you had the surgery, with an accurate diagnosis you may not have needed the surgery if the conservative treatment would have worked.

Re-injury of the affected area

Conditions in the back can come back, plain and simple. If a disc in your back has been operated on because it was herniated or bulging, this can re-occur in the future. The degenerative process in the spine could also play a factor in this. It may not be the same disc that herniated, but the above or below disc may be affected by the degenerative spine cascade to the point that it will too require surgical intervention. Be sure though that if it is a different disc, before surgery you try to achieve treatment through conservative measure.

Laminectomy Complications

Laminectomy complications that arise during a surgical procedure could very well increase your hospital bill as you will most likely need to extend your hospital stay by a day or two. Bleeding, infection, spinal fluid leaks are all complications that can arise as a direct result of spinal surgery. There are also other complications that may arise that are due to the anesthetic used. Although laminectomy complications are rare, they do still occur.

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