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Cervical Laminoplasty

Cervical Laminoplasty

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Published by: wh3r3s_wald02619 on May 25, 2009
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The OrthoCarolina Spine Center
 provides the highest level o care to patients suering rom all spine related conditions, rom the neck tothe lower back. Our surgeons and physiatrists work with a highly skilled team o physician assistants and nursing proessionals to provide patients with state-o-the-art spine care.
LAMINOPLASTYInomation o Laminoplasty Patints
The ollowing is a series o the most requently asked questions regarding laminoplasty. The answers are or theaverage case, with the understanding that there may be unusual circumstances, which would cause any one o these answers to be changed signicantly. You need to understand rom your orthopedic surgeon whether there isanything unusual about your particular case and have him/her explain why the answers to some o these questionsmight be dierent in your case.
 What is a Cvical Laminoplasty?
A laminoplasty is a surgical procedure intended to relieve pressure on the spinal cord while maintaining thestabilizing eects o the back part o the neck. This procedure is used to treat a painully restricted spinal canal inthe neck. It creates more space or the spinal cord and nerve roots, immediately relieving pressure rom the pinchedspinal cord. This technique is oten called “open door laminoplasty” because the back o the vertebrae is made toswing open like a door.
 What a th asons o sugy?
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing o the bony spinal canal causing spinal cord compression. This may lead to pain,weakness, numbness, clumsy hands, and diculty walking.
How is th Opation Pomd?
The surgeon creates an incision on the back o the neck. A groove is cut down one side o the cervical vertebraeto create a hinge. The other side o the vertebrae is cut all the way through.
See Figure 1. Courtesy o Cleveland ClinicFoundation.
The tips o the spinous processes may be removed to create room or the bones to swing open like a door. Theback o each vertebra is opened, taking pressure o o the spinal cord and nerve roots. Small wedges o boneand/or small plates are placed to “hold the door open” and allow room or the spinal cord and nerve roots to restcomortably.
See Figure 2a and 2b. Courtesy o Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
In addition to opening the spinal canal, the surgeon may perorm a oraminotomy i indicated. This involves usinginstruments to remove small pieces o bone surrounding an exiting nerve root that travels to the arm.
 What a th isks?
You must be ully anesthetized.
There is a chance o inection with any operation.
Bleeding/Blood Clots:
There is always some blood loss and a chance o post-operative blood clots with any operation.
Spinal Damage:
Damage to the spinal cord producing paralysis.
Nerve Damage:
This can occur, but happens in less than one percent o our cases. I a nerve is damaged, it does not mean paralysis. Each spinal nerve supplies only a small group o muscles.
C5 Nerve Palsy:
 Approximately 2 – 4% o patients will develop C5 nerve root palsy (weakness o the shoulder muscles).In almost all cases, this weakness will improve within 6 months, but some patients will require a ullyear to recover.
In some cases where internal fxation devices (plates and screws) are to be used, there is always the possibility that one or more o the screws may break or the plate may come loose. This is a rareoccurrence and i it does occur, in many cases it is not a problem.
The fnal risk is that the surgery may not give you the results you hoped it would. We hope to give yousignifcant relie rom your Spinal Fusion symptoms, but it is unrealistic to expect 100% relie. It wouldbe wise to get a clear understanding o what you can expect rom your surgery.

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