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Question? Fusion after Laminectomy

darbymai59ddarbymai59 Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My question is: Is it possible to get a fusion after a failed lumbar laminectomy?


  • I suppose there are some cases where this is not possible, but, it is done quite frequently. Often a surgeon will try a laminectomy first. If it doesn't work, or take care of the pain, then he will move on to a fusion.
  • Thanks Gwennie, Thanks for your reply.

    I wasn't sure if a surgeon would go further after a failed Laminectomy. I'm not sure if mine has failed but I do still have a lot of pain, especially when I walk. I'll find out Wednesday May 13th.

  • Hi Darby

    I had a laminectomy/discectomy/lateral decompression last year which didn't relieve my pain, and my next step will be fusion - seeing second neurosurgeon in mid July. I have a friend who had two laminectomies before her surgeon did a fusion and she's feeling so much better now.

    Hope you get some pain relief soon.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • You know, in most cases it is not that the disk herniates again. Rather, it is because the first surgery was incomplete. I was just reading about this yesterday...In years past, it was more the custom to remove the entire disk, but then the patient was left with bone on bone which caused its own set of problems. Now they try to pull out the disk fragments and leave what they can. When pain lingers or redevelops, it is often because there is still a little piece of the disk that has floated free and is now pressing on the nerve, or causing some sort of problem.

    This makes sense to me and accounts for why so many people feel OK for a little while, but then have the same pain return.

    When you have a fusion, the surgeon usually removes the entire disk and replaces it with a spacer or some type of cage or just pieces of bone and bone material. It then all grows together so that it is one solid mass, and there is nothing to slide around.
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