Post Laminectomy Syndrome or Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is a condition in which pain continues after spinal surgery, in the form of a fusion, laminectomy or discectomy. Symptoms include the same pain as before the surgery, dull aches and pains in the spinal cord, and neuropathic pain, which is nerve-related pain causing stabbing, sharp and pricking pains that radiate from the back down to the legs. Allodynia, or the painful feeling from a non-painful stimulus and hyperalgesia, or extremely painful response to a stimulus, can occur with Post Laminectomy Syndrome, also. There can be many reasons for pain after surgery including the correct disc not being targeted during the operation, the structure of the next level deteriorating, scar tissue formation or the nerve root not completely healing after the surgery. Your doctors will also try to eliminate correctable causes of failed back surgery such as residual stenosis, residual disc herniation, Pseudoarthrosis (when a fusion does not heal)
MRI, CT, myelogram and x-ray-guided spinal injections are useful tools in determining if the back pain is due to the failed surgery. A combination of conservative treatments such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, along with interventional procedures such as epidural steroid injections, medial branch blocks, radiofrequency ablation, and trigger point injections can lead to at least temporary resolution of the back pain.