Cervical laminoplasty is a surgery carried out to remove pressure from the spinal cord (spinal stenosis) in the neck that can be caused due to various health conditions like degenerative changes, arthritis, bone spurs, disc herniations or fractures. The cervical vertebrae protect and engulf the spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck. The spinal canal, which is where the bones open is the region through which the spinal cord passes. Ligaments and blood vessels are also present in the spinal canal. The nerve roots start at the spinal cord and pass through an opening between the vertebrae called the intervertebral foramen extending to other parts of the body.
The main objective of the Cervical Laminoplasty procedure is to remove the lamina to give the spinal cord more space. The spinal cord is highly sensitive to injury. Thus, with further passage of pinching of the spinal cord, significant loss of function can happen. Even with the removal of disturbing elements, the function cannot be retained. Thus Cervical Laminoplasty procedure reverses the spinal stenosis symptoms before it's too late.
The Cervical Laminoplasty procedure attaches one side of the posterior elements of the spine open to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord.
● In the first step, an incision is made in the back of the neck. Retractors are used to hold the fat and muscle away from the lamina to provide space for the surgery.
● The bone lying on the top of the spinal cord is hinged on one side with the help of a drill instead of removing it along with the other compressive structures.
● This creates a hinge on one side of the lamina and a small opening on the other side.
● After this, the lamina is then hinged open and moved into the “open” position by lifting the lamina towards open side. This creates vast space for the spinal cord which removes the pressure.
● Once this is accomplished, the spinal cord can move away from the compressing element.
Cervical Laminoplasty surgery is a little sensitive since it deals with one of the most delicate areas of our body, the spinal cord. The potential risks associated with the Cervical Laminoplasty surgery are not often diagnosed, except for the mild ones which include:
● Pain and numbness due to nerves
● Fluid Leak
● Recurrence or continuation of pain.
● Bleeding/injury to major blood vessels
● General anaesthetic complications
The success rate of Cervical Laminoplasty surgery to remove pain from cervical spinal stenosis is generally favourable. Most people observe an improvement in function post-surgery.