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Cervical Laminectomy and Laminoplasty in Portland, Oregon

What is a Cervical Laminectomy or Laminoplasty?

Cervical laminectomy and laminoplasty are procedures that are performed from the posterior or back of the neck to remove pressure on either the nerve roots or the spinal cord. A laminectomy removes the lamina, or bony roof, over the spinal cord while a laminoplasty hinges the roof open to provide more space for the spinal cord without loss of bone. A laminectomy can be combined with a posterior cervical fusion.

When is Cervical Laminectomy or Laminoplasty Indicated?

Cervical laminectomies and laminoplasties are designed to relieve pressure upon the spinal cord or nerve roots. In most cases patients have severe neck or arm pain from pinching of the spinal cord or nerves. Sometimes patients experience myelopathy or weakness in the legs. Other indications include instability due to disc degeneration, fracture, tumor, or scoliosis.

What Are the Details of Cervical Laminectomy and Laminoplasty?

In order to perform a cervical laminectomy or laminoplasty, an incision is made over the back of the neck, centered over the segments of the cervical spine that need to be decompressed. The incision is carried through the skin, fascia, and muscles until the spine is exposed. The laminectomy involves removing the lamina, which is the bony covering to spinal canal, where the nerve roots and spinal cord are situated. In a situation in which there is only a small area of pressure on the nerves, a limited laminectomy, called a laminotomy, is carried out. Laminoplasty is when the lamina are broken and then hinged open to provide more space for the nerves.

The position of the patient during surgery is in a prone position, lying face down. The surgery is done under a general anesthetic, with the patient completely asleep. Generally speaking, it takes between 2 to 4 hours to perform a laminectomy or laminoplasty.

What is the Postoperative Course for a Cervical Laminectomy or Laminoplasty?

Most patients spend 2 days in the hospital after the surgery and are not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds for one month afterwards. A soft collar is frequently used for comfort. Patients should not expect to drive for at least 2 weeks.

Dr. Button is experienced in cervical laminectomy and laminoplasty and if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss this or other procedures, click here.

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