What is a post-laminectomy syndrome?

In medical terms, “post” means after. In this case, it means after an operation. A laminectomy is the removal of a piece of bone in the spine. The lamina helps support the vertebra of the spine. When all or part of the lamina is removed, it’s called a laminectomy.

Laminectomy is done when the disc material bulges out of its normal space. The bulge or herniation presses against the spinal cord or spinal nerves. The pressure on a nerve can cause painful symptoms down the leg called sciatica. Removing the lamina takes the pressure off the nerve root.

If the operation doesn’t work, the patient still has sciatica. There may also be numbness and tingling and even muscle weakness. Any time a group of symptoms occur together, it’s called a syndrome. This group of symptoms after removing the lamina is called a postlaminectomy syndrome.

Reference: 

Eugene J. Carragee, MD, et al. Clinical Outcomes After Lumbar Discectomy For Sciatica: The Effects of Fragment Type and Anular Competence. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. January 2003. Vol. 85-A. No. 1. Pp. 102-108.

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