Post Laminectomy Syndrome or failed back syndrome (FBS), also called “failed back surgery syndrome” (FBSS), refers to chronic back and/or leg pain that occurs after back (spinal) surgery, usually after laminectomy. It is characterized as a chronic pain syndrome.
Multiple factors can contribute to the onset or development of FBS. Contributing factors include but are not limited to residual or recurrent disc herniation, persistent post-operative pressure on a spinal nerve, altered joint mobility, joint hypermobility with instability, scar tissue (fibrosis), depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and spinal muscular deconditioning.
A variety of factors may cause Post Laminectomy Syndrome. In many cases, the spinal nerve root, which has been decompressed by the surgery, simply does not fully recover from its prior trauma and continues to be a source of chronic nerve pain or sciatica. In other instances, the body’s way of healing includes scar formation, which can surround the nerve roots and give rise to chronic pain. Another relatively common occurrence is the presence of structural changes in the spine that develop above or below the site of a spinal fusion. Other causes include recurrent or new disc herniation, post-operative spinal or pelvic ligament instability, such as SI joint dysfunction and myofascial pain.
An individual may be predisposed to the development of FBS due to systemic disorders such as diabetes, autoimmune disease and peripheral blood vessels (vascular) disease.