Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome (Failed Spine Surgery Syndrome)

Post-Laminectomy Syndrome is a condition where there is persistent spine pain after surgery.

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There are a number of reasons why patients have pain following spine surgery:

  • Correct treatment of original pain generator and subsequent development of new pain generator
  • Surgery without change of initial pain
  • Surgery with complications like nerve injury, infection, or failure to heal
  • Patient factors like smoking have been associated with increased risk of development of Post-Laminectomy Syndrome.


The Compass Pain and Spine can diagnose Post-Laminectomy Syndrome during a comprehensive history and physical examination. In addition, we may also request diagnostic tests such as an MRI, X-ray, CT, or blood tests.


Medications may be used in the initial treatment of Post-Laminectomy Syndrome; however, they are not always effective and have unwanted side effects. The Compass Pain and Spine offer cutting edge treatments that relieve pain without medication, including:

  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): uses your own blood’s healing capabilities. Growth factors within your own platelets have regenerative capabilities to stimulate nerve growth and recovery
  • Stem Cell Therapy: Concentrated samples of your own stem cells can be placed at the site of damage to help regenerate damaged nerve tissue and to stimulate growth.
  • Nerve blocks: Image guided nerve blocks can deliver local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication to the site of nerve injury for diagnostic and therapeutic benefit.
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS): Once an injured nerve is identified it can be blocked electrically using a small lead, like a pacemaker wire. The Compass Pain and Spine offer this cutting edge, FDA approved therapy.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): After a diagnostic block confirms the source of pain, heat in the form of FM radio waves is used to desensitize the nerve causing the pain. Relief typically lasts 9-12 months and can be repeated as necessary.
  • Neuromodulation (SCS): an FDA approved therapy that can block pain at the level of the spinal cord using a small lead like a pacemaker wire and a battery.