Please accept my apologies in advance as this is my first post ever.
I am a 32 year old male who had L5/S1 Lumbar Fusion surgery on two levels with Lami in August 2010.
My surgeon told me that he is amazed with my recovery and everything is as expected.
However, it has been about 10 months now and my back is still stiff all the time along with surgical pain and left leg pain and numbness at times. The leg pain is nowhere near as bad as it was before surgery but still there and enough to keep me up at night.
Post surgery during my recovery I did everything I was told to, i.e. walk every day, increase movements, stretching exercises etc. I also did about 7 months worth of physio 2 times a week and followed all there advise/exercises.
Can someone please tell me if this is normal? I expected a full recovery by now.
Hi there. Post laminectomy syndrome refers to pain associated symptoms not relieved following laminectomy. The causes of poor results are poor patient selection, nerve root injury at the time of surgery, delayed surgery, infection in the disc space or epidural space, unrecognized lateral spinal stenosis or instability, arachnoiditis, reherniation are all possible causes. Sometimes despite appropriate surgery and pathology, being corrected psychosocial factors may contribute to the pain. The cause needs to be determined for appropriate treatment. conservative treatment to begin with includes rehabilitation like physical therapy, exercise, pain management with combination of oral drugs inc. analgesics, NSAIDs, antidepressants muscle relaxants etc. anesthetics or steroids injected in the form of trigger point injections, epidural steroid injections, selective nerve root injections. Opioids oral, implantation of pain pump, etc spinal cord stimulation and rarely, surgical intervention, like another laminectomy, vertebral fusion, and psychotherapy may help. Take care.
I did not have the fusion. I had a discectomy so I can't really say what is exactly causing your problems. I do know that I have pain, stiffness, spasms and all the general fun stuff that comes from having back problems. I have arthritis and you probably do also. I take black cherry extract 750 mg for the arthritis and it helps more than anything I have tried. You may also have scar tissue building up in your back causing more problems. The only thing for it is to do the exercises you learned in pt to help keep you limber. You may also want to consider getting a foam mattress topper for your bed. I couldn't sleep for more than 4 hours before I got one. I can't tell you how much it has helped. All the advice in the world is not going to do any good though until you go back to the doctor and get checked. You need to make sure that there is not something else going on and that it is just issues from the fusion and any damage that may have been there before. I don't think any one can completely recover from back problems. I think it is just learning to live with them. If you have any more questions or need more advice just send me a message and I will tell you what I have tried and what has worked for me. I have had back problems for 14 years and have tried quite a bit during that time. Good luck to you, hope I was helpful and you find relief soon.
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