A laminoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to relieve the nerve pressure and pain caused by spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerves and causes pain throughout the spine and extremities. It can develop as a result of bone spurs or just from aging.
In this procedure, a small section of bone that covers the back of the spinal cord, called the lamina, is cut into to relieve the compression. One side of the lamina is cut through completely and the other is cut partially, enabling it to swing open in a similar manner to a door. It is then held open, therefore increasing the amount of room for the spinal cord and decreasing compression on the nerves, with titanium spacers and plates.
The cervical spine (neck region) is one of the most important and agile parts of your body. It begins at the base of the skull and consists of seven bones separated by intervertebral discs that allow the spine to move freely. The neck has the greatest amount of movement of any area of the spine and is also responsible for protecting the spinal cord and supporting the skull. Because of its vital function in our everyday lives, injury or disease of the cervical spine is a very serious condition.
As symptoms of spinal stenosis worsen over time or more conservative treatments such as medication and physical therapy have failed to help, a laminoplasty may become necessary. It can provide relief from typical symptoms such as pain, numbness or weakness in one or both arms or legs.
A laminoplasty of the cervical spine is performed through the back of the neck under general anesthesia. The surgery can last between two and five hours. The typical hospital stay is two to three days. Patients are then required to wear a soft cervical collar for several weeks after surgery to promote stability and healing in the neck.
After a laminoplasty, you will most likely need to begin a regimen of physical therapy to build up the strength and flexibility in your neck muscles. You will be restricted from those activities that require bending and lifting for several weeks after the procedure. Generally, most people can return to work in two to six weeks after surgery.
Dr. Kim stays ahead of technology and aims to define the forefront of evolving in spinal care. If you are considering a specialists in spine care, please contact us at 310-423-9716 or fill out or contact form for more information.