A cervical laminoplasty is a spine surgery that involves reshaping/repositioning bone to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the cervical spine, or neck. A cervical laminoplasty is often performed to relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal.
What Is A Cervical Laminoplasty?
A cervical laminoplasty is a spine surgery that involves reshaping/repositioning bone to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the cervical spine, or neck. The name of the procedure is derived from the Latin word lamina (thin plate, sheet or layer), and the Greek term plastos (to mold). A laminoplasty differs from a laminectomy in that the lamina is repositioned rather than removed.
Why Do I Need This Procedure?
Spinal stenosis is a condition caused by a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing happens as a result of the degeneration of both the facet joints and the intervertebral discs. The facet joints also enlarge as they become arthritic, which contributes to a decrease in the space available for the nerve roots. Bone spurs, called osteophytes also can form and grow into the spinal canal, and connecting ligaments also may thicken.
These processes narrow the spinal canal and may begin to impinge upon and place pressure on the nerves roots and spinal cord, resulting in such symptoms as:
- Neck pain
- Pain that radiates into the shoulders, arms and/or hands
- Numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the neck and/or upper extremeties
- Bowel and/or bladder impairment
The goal of a cervical laminoplasty is to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves by removing the source of the pressure while still maintaining the stability of the posterior elements of the vertebrae. The procedure also is referred to as an “open door laminoplasty” because it involves “hinging” one side of the posterior elements of the vertebrae and cutting the other side so that it forms a “door” which is then opened and held in place with wedges made of bone and instrumentation.
To determine whether your condition requires treatment with a cervical laminoplasty, your doctor will examine your back and your medical history, and may order an X-ray,computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of your spine. A surgical procedure such as a cervical laminoplasty is typically recommended after non-surgical treatment options, such as medication, rest and physical therapy, fail to relieve symptoms after a reasonable length of time.