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What is Post Laminectomy Syndrome and How is it Treated?

What is Post-laminectomy Syndrome?

Post-laminectomy syndrome is a condition where the patient suffers from persistent pain in the back following surgery to the back. This article reviews this condition in a bit more detail. A laminectomy is a procedure where a part of the vertebra that protects the spinal-cord is removed. It is usually performed to relieve pressure on the spinal-cord from a protrusion on or behind the vertebra.

What causes Post-laminectomy Syndrome

There are a number of reasons why patients may experience back pain after a laminectomy. These could include the fact that the surgery itself was probably not necessary or that the surgery did not have the outcome that was expected. In some cases, despite performing a laminectomy, patients experience pain because the spinal column itself is narrowed in a conventional manner.

Symptoms & Diagnoses

The most common symptoms patients experience are back pain at the site of surgery, along with leg pain. As a result of pain, patients have difficulty performing daily activities. The longer the pain persists, the more it will be an issue that adversely affects their lives. Patients may feel depressed and anxious as well. When examined, these individuals are typically found to have painful meniscus injuries.

How is Post-laminectomy Syndrome treated?

Treatment options may vary.

Physical therapy: this may be recommended by the treating physician as physical therapists can prescribe exercises and treatments such as electrical stimulation which can help relieve pain and improve overall movement.

Painkillers: a prescription drug used to relieve pain. It works by dulling physical pain. However, in cases of post-laminectomy syndrome, doctors may prescribe morphine in high doses to treat the pain. However, if this is done, patients will be closely monitored to avoid the development of addiction. Specialist therapies: in some cases, doctors may consider referring their patients for more advanced treatments such as epidural nerve blocks, radiofrequency denervation and platelet rich plasma therapy. New techniques are always being looked into all the time by specialists.

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