Utah Post Laminectomy Pain Syndrome & Treatment
What is Post-Laminectomy Syndrome?
Post-Laminectomy Syndrome (PLS) is the description of a chronic painful condition that affects some patients recovering from a laminectomy. The portions of the vertebrae that connect the main body of the bone to the spinous process are the lamina — the protrusions felt on the back through the skin.
A laminectomy is the removal of lamina and associated bone spurs, relieving pressure built up on the spinal nerves in several back conditions. PLS is a general term describing chronic pain syndromes experienced by patients coming out of any number of back surgeries. Post-laminectomy syndrome is not a diagnosis and the cause is unknown. One of the primary theories involves epidural fibrosis, which happens when scar tissue develops in the epidural space of the spine during healing. Some of the other possible causes of PLS include surgical intervention at the wrong spinal level, incomplete removal of the lamina, arachnoiditis (inflammation within the protective layers of the spinal cord), and psychosocial problems (depression, anxiety) interfering with recovery.
When a patient comes out of back surgery and experiences significant pain or if the post-surgical outcome is less than satisfactory, a physician will likely treat a patient for PLS. This often involves lab work and/or radiological imaging in order to properly identify possible irregularities where the lamina were removed. A mental health screen will also likely be administered in order to rule out psychosocial causes.
Utah Post Laminectomy Syndrome Treatment
Depending on the individual, different treatment plans will be made in order to maximize relief. One treatment option is opioid medication, which can be effective, but can also have undesirable side-effects. Spinal cord stimulation is also often used in order to disrupt pain signals and replace them with a tingling sensation. Finally, adhesiolysis, the disconnection of fibrotic scar tissue after surgery, either by mechanical means or with chemical injections, is an option.
Although post-laminectomy syndrome can be long-lasting and can significantly interfere with an individual's lifestyle, proper treatment can provide reasonable pain management.
For more information on how Omega Interventional Pain can help treat your post laminectomy pain syndrome, please contact us at 801-261-4988.