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What causes lower back pain after laminectomy?

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Posted on Mon, 18 May 2015
Question: I have had trouble with lower back pain over the last 5 years, to include a laminectomy L4, L5, S1 to relieve pain and left leg atrophy. I was recently out of work for 5 weeks while getting an epidural in that region to relieve the symptoms. In addition to my back, I have developed aching in both ankles, both knees, left thigh, left wrist, and left shoulder. I went to my primary Dr to have blood work and everything that was tested came back normal. I know he tested me for RA and Lupus. I am currently masking my pain with 15mg of Meloxicam each day and still have a hard time working and getting around. My back pain went from being located in the center at my spine to being a ache located at my lower right side that is triggered by movement. What could be causing this? I have tried natural anti-inflammatory food like dried cherries and tart cherry juice along with my meds. Any information you can give me is greatly appreciated!
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Answered by Dr. Geldon Fejzo (15 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Arthritis

Detailed Answer:
Hello. I have been through your question and understand your concern.

Unfortunately back pain after laminectomy will always come and go, but generally you will never be pain free. The lower extremities pain might be related to root compression at the laminectomy site, but pain in the left shoulder and wrist is not related to this. That is why your GP tested on RA and Lupus, which fortunately came back normal. At this point, since the pain gets exacerbated on movement, there must be an inflammation of the articulation (arthritis). This is supported also by the relief caused by Meloxicam. You should know that you are getting the minimum dosage. The good thing is that inflamed articulations tend to be self limiting and generally pass in a few weeks. You might need a simple Xray of you extremities to see the articulation.
Hope this helps. Wish you the best health
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Geldon Fejzo

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 337 Questions

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What causes lower back pain after laminectomy?

Brief Answer: Arthritis Detailed Answer: Hello. I have been through your question and understand your concern. Unfortunately back pain after laminectomy will always come and go, but generally you will never be pain free. The lower extremities pain might be related to root compression at the laminectomy site, but pain in the left shoulder and wrist is not related to this. That is why your GP tested on RA and Lupus, which fortunately came back normal. At this point, since the pain gets exacerbated on movement, there must be an inflammation of the articulation (arthritis). This is supported also by the relief caused by Meloxicam. You should know that you are getting the minimum dosage. The good thing is that inflamed articulations tend to be self limiting and generally pass in a few weeks. You might need a simple Xray of you extremities to see the articulation. Hope this helps. Wish you the best health