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Pressure on your cervical spine (neck) can cause symptoms such as pain, weakness and balance problems.

Spinal cord compression in the neck can be caused by spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) due to:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Degenerative disc conditions
  • Herniated disc
  • Spine tumors

Laminoplasty surgery helps relieve the pressure caused by these conditions by decompressing both sides of the spinal canal and giving the spinal cord and nerve roots more space.

Laminoplasty is typically used to treat:  cervical stenosis, cervical myeloplasty

Having Laminoplasty Surgery

When you have laminoplasty surgery, your surgeon will first identify the problem area using fluoroscopy.

The surgeon will make an incision on the back of your neck and carefully dissect away the muscle to get access to your spine.  

Carefully, using small drills, your surgeon will then release both sides of the lamina (bone that lays over your spinal cord).  

By drilling it off, the surgeon is able to elevate and hinge the entire lamina, much like a door, to decompress your spinal cord and give more room to relieve pressure on your nerves on both sides.

How Laminoplasty Surgery Works

Laminoplasty surgery works by elevating your spinal lamina and hinging it open to create more room and less pressure on your spinal cord and nerves.

In addition, the spinal fluid that flows around your spinal cord has more room to flow normally, which in turn also allows more blood flow to your nerves, an essential component of nerve healing.

After surgery, most patients have less pain in their arms and hands, and may even notice improvement in their level of functioning.

Benefits of Laminoplasty Surgery

For patients with multi-level stenosis, laminoplasty allows for decompression over several levels, greater than what is accessible via ACDF.

Because it is not a fusion, it also allows patients to retain their range of motion and flexibility.

It prevents progressive kyphosis (neck tipping forward) by maintaining the posterior column as well as adjacent segment disease.

Recovering From Laminoplasty

Recovery and prognosis for laminoplasty are excellent.

Laminoplasty surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you will be able to return home the same day, although some patients stay overnight.

Following surgery, you may have some pain in the back of your neck where the incision was made for two or three days, which will be treated with pain medicine.

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help you return to full function after laminoplasty, which typically begins about one month after surgery.

Most people completely recover in one to two months.

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