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Over time the vertebras can develop problems such as bulging discs or fractures, bone spurs, arthritis, and age-related degenerative changes.
These can narrow the vertebral canal, putting concurrent pressure on the spinal cord and branching nerves. This can present as pain, stiffness along numbness in the corresponding area. Usually, it’s cervical, but thoracic and lumbar vertebrae can also be affected, especially in the pediatric population.
Laminoplasty is a neuro-orthopedic decompression surgery done to relieve pressure on the spinal cord due to neurodegenerative changes in the vertebra. Cervical Laminoplasty is the most common type.
Indications of Cervical Laminoplasty
- Spinal stenosis.
- Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy.
- Multilevel disk herniation.
- Traumatic central cord syndrome.
- Treatment of tumors and vascular malfunctions.
How is the Surgery Performed?
The surgeon will give an incision on the back of the neck, exposing the vertebra. Two troughs will be made on the lamina of the spine by removing the outer layer of the bone. From here, the surgeon can either go with the Open or Double/French door technique.
The surgeon will use one trough as a hinge in the open-door technique while cutting through the other trough. This will create a room, relieving pressure on the cord.
In the French door technique, spinous processes of the vertebra will be opened using both troughs as hinges. This will ultimately relieve stress from the spinal cord.
Usually, more than one arc of cervical vertebrae will be opened that are eventually closed by bone graft material and metal plates. The surgeon will then close the skin.
What to Expect During Laminoplasty
Before the surgery, you will be started on an I/V line, and antibiotics will be administered. General anesthesia will be given, and respiration will be via a breathing tube.
After the surgery, the breathing tube will be removed, and the neck will be placed in a collar to immobilize it. You will have to wear the cervical collar for 2-3 days. The pain medication could be given as needed, and you’ll be discharged after 3-4 days.