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2 Laminectomy's in 3 years and it's back again in 6 months.

First off I'm male, going to be 55 in August. History of Osteoarthritis (bone spur fixed in shoulder, 2 hip replacements, spinal stenosis).

The first laminectomy was in May of 2015, L4 and 5. The pain (Left leg) was 100% gone!! Awesome!

Late in 2018 it came back and I had a revision of the L4 and 5 AND added L2 and 3 and S1. Left leg again, Pain free 100%.

6 months now and the pain is back again almost as bad as the first time (can only stand for minutes before my left foot starts to get numb and then pins and needles. I ALSO have a very bad burning pain now starting just a little above the rear portion of my back right above the hip that shoots down my left cheek, behind my thigh and then down to my knee, covering the left half of my left leg (so, like from the middle part of the front to the middle part of the back). This burning pain is pretty much continuous from the moment I stand until I sit down.

If I bend really far forward I can get pain free and there is something that feels like a cool wave/breeze in my foot (more relief from pain and pins and needles).

The surgeries I've had were from a top rated clinic in the Akron, Ohio area.   

I'd just like some input as to what may be going on before I can get back in to seeing my doctor again.

Thank You!!



  • PSciatica

    Welcome to Spine Health

    Your story sounds similar to mine, I had fusion surgery on L5 in 2016 after a couple of failed laminectomies, doctor wanted to add L3-L4 to the fusion but told me I would probably not work again, I talked him in to doing laminectomies on those 2 levels, 1 year and 2 months later he had to fuse those levels also, so far so good after the fusions.

    Good luck and keep us posted


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,716


    We have no way of knowing what may be going on, just like you don't. If it were me, and I've been there many times, I would get an opinion from my doctor and start looking at your options.

    Take care and keep us posted.

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  • P Scistica.    I have had 2 failed endoscopic discectomies and most recently an open discectomy laminotomy and foraminotomy.   Unfortunately backs are very complex. I hope you get some relief soon. Hang in there I know it’s tough.  Chip how bad is the fusion? That’s in my near future I have a feeling but I’m too heavy at the moment in my opinion.  

  • I have noticed most procedures eliminate the leg pain but what about the back pain? Is a laminectomy with fusion better than just a micro decompression surgery ? I have the leg pain but I have a lot of pain in my back, hip, butt shoots down to my knee and now is creeping into my calf and foot area! I have been struggling for months with several injections, epidurals, RFA, steroids, opioids, muscle relaxers and PT.

       I have a surgical consult in Sept. I cant take it anymore ! The pain is so consuming and everyday I just pray for relief ! Any advise or experience shared is greatly appreciated !

  • I don’t know if this is truely statically correct but my surgeon told me that if he did not get rid of at a minimum 75-80% of my pain both back and leg then he felt he would have failed me. We are shooting of course for mote but realistically 80% or more and I would be most satisfied. FYI your levels of pain and description logistically on your body are the exact areas of my pain. Many of the symptoms you describe match mine as well. Do you ever experience the pain in the form of pressure? Like being in a constant vice. Just curios. I had an ALIF fusion in October 2017 for S1-L5 and had L4-L5 10 days ago. It’s all hell. Thoughts and prayers go out to you seriously. Like JBush said. Hang in there. You will have a good support system here. Feel free to reach out to me at any point. I’m laid up right now recovering and thereafter plan on making it a mission to be there on any level I can to support those going through this. We are lucky to have this support group. I have watched my health devastate my family. Affect my career. U name it. The failure of my back was and is still something that I don’t completely understand though I have studied the anatomy and correlation of each segment and nerve quite thoroughly. I felt no one understood from drs to family and friends but the people here do so utilize us. Like my name on here I kind of jokingly say I got ur back but sincerely I do. There are support systems for everything out there in the world but the back thing is not as openly discussed and thought of as it should be in my opinion. Hope all works out for ya and for all of us. Regards, Don
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  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 659

    Sounds to me like they removed what was impinging the nerve, but did not fix the reason there was an impingement in the first place.

  • Hi SuperBack,

       Thanks for responding to me ! Some days are so hopeless! How are you feeling today ? You asked if any of my pain is in the form of pressure? Just recently I feel an extreme pressure when I need to use the bathroom. Sorry for the TMI but I feel an elevated pressure or pain in my lower back when I need to have a bowel movement. Crazy I haven’t mentioned this to anyone but today I have discussed it 3 times in hopes someone else may have this too.

        I am scheduled to see my Ortho for a surgical consultation Sept 6. I saw him almost a year ago and he suggested a decompression surgery. I was in denial and refused to believe this wouldn’t heal on its own. I read up on many things on that particular surgery and fear it won’t address the back pain. I have extreme back pain constantly and the leg pain is there but less aggravating then centralized back pain.

        Did your surgery eliminate any back pain ? How are you doing today ? Would you of done anything differently leading up to where you are in your recovery?

        Thank You for “having my back”

        I pray for a speedy recovery! 

  • Thank you Joggerspirit. Sorry didn’t get back to you yesterday.  It was not my best nor most functional in recent days.  It was closer towards the hopeless feeling for a good portion.  Steroids had kicked in causing a physical and mental delirium.  The lack of being able to be engaged with people from my family, friends & coworkers via phone or in person as they tried to add there 2 cents on my life due to the overwhelming state of me well...was mostly overwhelming but I’m bouncing back today.  I am almost 3 weeks out from my surgery and already having a lot of people try and compare it to last time.  Statements & questions such as “was he feeling better 3 weeks post op than last time and “was he not able to do more last time at 3 weeks out.   The worst coming from a coworker asking me if the drs think everything is still going to be a success and is this normal when questioning some of my post surgery issues like swelling and pain as if I am not healing.  I really try to keep a realistic but positive outlook and had a lot of negative coming at me yesterday even from some of my closest family members.  I didn’t feel solid enough to respond in most cases.  Today I fought back and reminded everyone that I over exerted myself usually for holidays or business trips way too early in the game after my first surgery when I should have been doing nothing but focusing on my physical well being.  That’s one thing I am doing differently this time simply because I didn’t last time which is allowing myself to heal.  Not succumbing to outside pressure.  Hard lesson learned round one.  Also prep for success and prep for a long recovery.  It’s easy to over commit yourself.  Don’t.  You need to focus on you.  Ask for help.  You will need it. These surgeries can improve our life beyond belief but they are taxing.  Stay positive and have faith that it is the right thing to do.  I constantly tell people in life to address and fix problems and not to just put bandaid on. 

    I guess that was long answer to how I was doing plus prep for most recent fusion.  I do not feel the pressure in my lower back/ waistline that i normally feel that is always overbearing on any posture but especially sitting. I rarely if at all had the pressure while having a BM but reaching for anything.  Tying shoes.  Pulling pants up.  Reaching for steering wheel, putting grocery in car.  Anything reaching shot pain from that areas that would either have dull pain out to hips or a very intense sharp pain out to hips and down legs.  It would never go away.  As if something along my tailbone or SI was just being squeezed.  It drove me crazy.  After both surgeries and this one i am still in early stages the back pain was relieve to to certain degree.  After first surgery I think it only addressed a portion of problematic area.   

    Lastly know that nerves don’t heal fast.  Not at all.  So be patient.  It will not go away the first week nor first month after surgery.  Hope this helps. DC

  • And play by the rules.  Walk.  No bending lifting twisting.  I drop the ball on these at least once.  Do your PT when it comes time.  Which is not immediate.  Prep your world for your recovery. 
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