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Burning pain 3+ months post thoracic laminectomy

TanyaLTTanyaL Posts: 1
edited 08/04/2013 - 4:43 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello, all. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

I'm at my wit's end. In late April, I had a very successful thoracic laminectomy to remove a large tumor that was compressing my spinal cord (I have NF2 and have many more of them, as well as brain tumors). My recovery was going pretty well until about week 6, when I started to have 'electric shocks' into the lower part of my right shoulder blade. Today, 14 weeks post-op, the shocks are mostly gone but I'm left with this awful burning sensation, as though I have a sunburn many layers deep. It's debilitating!

I started back at work this week and worried I can't stick it out. How long will this likely last and is there something I can do in the meantime? (I'm using BioFreeze with modest results at the moment.) Is this just my nerves waking up or is there something more concerning behind it?

Thank you so much for any help you can offer.


ps I live in Canada and so, while my healthcare didn't cost me anything, getting an appointment with my surgeon is all but impossible. I am not scheduled to see him again until December. :(


  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 08/05/2013 - 4:47 AM
    Glad to hear that the laminectomy to remove a tumour from your thoracic spine was successful, but not glad to hear that you are back in pain again. :-(

    I am in the UK so understand how difficult it can be to get appointments with our surgeons. However, I think that it would be a good idea to let your surgeon know about your burning pain so that he can decide if it is likely to be just nerve pain and things continue to settle down after surgery, or if he needs to examine you or arrange some tests to see what is going on. Can you phone or write to his office and let them know what you are experiencing? You don't want to wait until December without getting reassurance that this is normal or having something done about it.

    Burning is very often nerve related. It can be permanent after spinal surgery. My brother-in-law had a cervical fusion done about 6 or 7 years ago and he still has a lot of burning pain. He is now taking nerve pain tablets that do help him but is struggling to get the dose correct. He either seems to be very sleepy or doesn't get the help from the burning.

    I see that you have tried BioFreeze. Have you tried icing the area with the burning? It may be worth a try.

    I hope that you get some information from your surgeon's office soon and that some others who have more experience of this than I do will come and answer your post.

    Again, welcome to Spine Health.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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