Laminectomy (Cervical) with Fusion

This pro­ce­dure removes a sec­tion of bone from the rear of one or more ver­te­brae to relieve the painful and dis­abling pres­sure of steno­sis. The spine is then sta­bi­lized with rods and screws. Anes­the­sia is admin­is­tered, and the patient is posi­tioned to give the sur­geon access to the back of the neck. The sur­geon cre­ates a small inci­sion to expose the ver­te­brae. The sur­geon uses a high-speed burr to cut a rec­tan­gu­lar trough of bone from the ver­te­brae. The sur­geon care­ful­ly removes the bone from the rear of the ver­te­brae, open­ing up the spinal canal and reliev­ing pres­sure from the spinal cord and nerve roots. The sur­geon inspects the spinal canal and fora­men — the open­ings through which the nerve roots exit the spinal canal. Any bone spurs behind the spinal cord and nerve roots are cleared away. Once all prob­lem areas have been cor­rect­ed, the sur­geon cre­ates a fusion to sta­bi­lize the cer­vi­cal spine. The sur­geon places screws in the ver­te­brae, and a burr is used to decor­ti­cate the joints. Rods are placed through the screws in the ver­te­brae, lock­ing the spine in a nat­ur­al posi­tion. In some cas­es, bone graft may be placed in the facet joints to pro­mote the growth of bone that will com­plete the fusion. After the spine is sta­bi­lized, the inci­sion is closed. Drains may be insert­ed in the wound to pre­vent flu­id buildup. The patient may require a cer­vi­cal col­lar for a brief peri­od after the procedure.