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Disectomy/Laminectomy Failed?

Phoebe2010PPhoebe2010 Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello everyone

I'm new to the forum and have spent the passed few days looking through lots of posts hoping to find some advice and further information.

In Feb 2010 I had a disectomy/laminectomy at L5/S1. All went well and although a slow recovery with permanent numbness to right leg, I thought I had put my back problems behind me. Unfortunatley in Oct of this year I had to have a hysterectomy which had been delayed due to my back op. That surgery went well until one and a half weeks post op. My back pain started again and I tried to ignore it until I couldn't really carry on with it. Really shocked when doctor said that I could be having a recurrance of the previous problem. I thought that once I had the back op, that would be the end of it. Obviously not. She has requested another MRI and I presume will see what that shows. I can't believe how awful this year has been. Was looking forward to putting 2010 behind me! The pain in my back has brought back lots of painful memories.

My question to you wise folk is, can a disectomy/laminectomy fail and would they repeat the same op or do something else. Also, I have noticed that the numbness in my leg seems to be spreading. :(

Thank you in advance for any help, advice or experience you could give me.



  • I dont know if it can fail, or what can be done. I only want to wish you well. I had a 2 level fusion in Dec 2008. Before that I had shoulder surgery and hysterectomey all of them within 6 months. I too wanted to put 2008 behind me.
    I am having a 2 level fusion on Dec 13 and am hoping to put it all behind me for good. I hope that you can find out whats wrong, get it corrected and we both can get our lives back. Just wanted to let you know not to loose faith! I will be thinking of you.
  • Hi,

    I replied to your post under the back surgery section.

  • That depends on your definition of fail. Usually the disc/lami is done to relieve pressure that the disc is putting on a nerve. So if they don't remove enough material or in the right area the pressure isn't relieved. It is also possible to reherniate, meaning that the disc is pushed out more and is again pressing on the nerve.

    In my case they did the disc/lami/forenotomy to get to a spur on the other side. This worked for about 3 months when there appeared a new spur. So the initial surgery worked but the theory behind it didn't.

    Hope this helps. Try to be patient until you get your new test results. It would probably help to keep a detailed pain log until them.
  • I have been diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, and my doc told me that the term simply means that the pain is still there or has reoccurred at some point after surgery, most of the time with an unknown cause (usually not able to be detected with an MRI, but keep your fingers crossed). What they normally do is send you to pain management to control the symptoms, as I don't think exploratory back surgery is done. I was also told by my doc that once you've had surgery, it's unlikely that another surgeon will touch you because of liability reasons. I was informed that the scar tissue from my previous surgery could be pushing on the nerve, causing pain.

    I thought that having surgery was going to end my pain too. My surgeon practically guaranteed it. But here we are...
  • Have you had a discogram? That is the only test that showed the problems with my discs.
  • I don't know if they can or do fail. I've heard of discectomy fusions result in the fusion not taking. Then the surgeon has to go back in to correct the problem.

    I had a 5 level laminectomy in May of this year, lower back. I don't know which levels. It was to alleviate right leg nerve pain. It did help some with that. I still have tingling and pain in that leg, but to a lesser degree.

    What got much worse was my lower back pain at the surgical site. That pain is chronic now and does not go away. I don't know why. I will be seeing my surgeon again in Jan. He is to do a 2 level discetomy/fusion in my cervical spine.

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