Cervical Laminaplasty (or Laminoplasty)

This sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure cre­ates more space for the spinal cord and nerve roots to relieve the painful pres­sure of spinal steno­sis, a nar­row­ing of the spinal canal that can result from arthri­tis. Anes­the­sia is admin­is­tered, and the patient is placed in a face-down posi­tion. The sur­geon cre­ates an inci­sion on the back of the neck to access the cer­vi­cal spine. On one side of the spine, the sur­geon scores each lam­i­na — the bony area that cov­ers the spinal cord — to cre­ate a ver­ti­cal groove. On the oth­er side, the sur­geon care­ful­ly cuts all the way through each lam­i­na. The grooves act as hinges, allow­ing the ver­te­brae to open like a door. This cre­ates more space in the spinal canal, imme­di­ate­ly reliev­ing pres­sure from the spinal cord and nerve roots.

The sur­geon exam­ines the spinal canal and removes any bone spurs or oth­er sources of com­pres­sion. The sur­geon inserts small wedges of bone graft mate­r­i­al to hold the bone open. Screws and met­al implants secure the ver­te­brae and the bone wedges. The inci­sion is closed and ban­daged, and drains may be placed in the wound to pre­vent flu­id buildup. A soft cer­vi­cal col­lar may be used. Phys­i­cal ther­a­py may be needed.