Postlaminectomy Syndrome, also known as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS), describes the condition of patients who have not had successful results from back surgery and have lingering pain. Most patients recover from spinal surgery with no complications, but, for a small number of people, back pain persists.

The syndrome is more common in the lumbar (lower back) region, but it also occurs in the cervical (neck) region.

It occurs most often following a spinal fusion or laminectomy, but may also occur following discectomy. The causes include failure to heal properly, scarring, infection, recurrent disc herniation, and progressive degeneration of the spine.

Some patients may only experience mild discomfort, while others endure severe pain that diminishes their quality of life. Some experience dull aches in the lower back, while others have sharp pain that radiates to the buttocks and legs. The pain may also lead to other issues, including weakness, insomnia, depression and fatigue.

The spine experts at Lancaster Orthopedic Group can help identify the cause of post-laminectomy syndrome and find a solution. Your physician will review the medical records related to your original surgery, rehabilitation and recovery, and any other history that may help identify the cause of your post-laminectomy syndrome. It may also be necessary to complete new X-rays, MRI’s or CT scans.

Depending on the severity and affected area, treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and/or physical therapy.

Some patients with postlaminectomy syndrome may also benefit from corrective surgery.