Cervical Laminectomy Kenmore WA
Medical School: Suny-Hlth Sci Ctr At Syracuse, Coll Of Med, Syracuse Ny 13210
Graduation Year: 1980
Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Medical School: Stanford Univ Sch Of Med, Stanford Ca 94305
Graduation Year: 1972
Medical School: Tx Tech Univ Hlth Sci Ctr Sch Of Med, Lubbock Tx 79430
Graduation Year: 1991
Hospital: Catawba Mem Hosp, Hickory, Nc; Frye Reg Med Ctr, Hickory, Nc
Group Practice: Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists; Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists Newton
A Patient's Guide to Cervical Laminectomy
A laminectomy is a surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the spinal cord due to spinal stenosis. In spinal stenosis, bone spurs press against the spinal cord, leading to a condition called myelopathy. Myelopathy can produce problems with the bowels and bladder, disruptions in the way you walk, and impairments with fine motor skills in the hands. In a laminectomy, a small section of bone covering the back of the spinal cord is removed. Lamina refers to the roof of bone over the back of the spinal cord, and ectomy means the medical procedure for removing a section of the bony roof to take pressure off the spinal cord.
This guide will help you understand
What parts of the neck are involved?
Surgeons perform this procedure through the back of the neck. This is known as the posterior neck region. It includes the parts that make up the bony ring around the spinal cord (the pedicles and laminae.)
Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Cervical Spine Anatomy
What do surgeons hope to achieve?
View animation of disc collapse
A laminectomy can alleviate the symptoms of spinal stenosis, a condition that causes the spinal cord to become compressed inside the spinal canal. Wear and tear on the spine from aging and from repeated stresses and strains can cause a spinal disc to begin to collapse. This is the first stage of spinal stenosis. As the space between the vertebrae narrows, the posterior longitudinal ligament that attaches behind the vertebral body may buckle and push against the spinal cord. The degenerative process can also cause bone spurs to develop. When these spurs point into the spinal canal, they squeeze the spinal cord. In a laminectomy, the surgeon removes a section of the lamina bone, the buckled parts of the posterior longitudinal ligament, and the bone spurs, taking pressure off the spinal cord.
How will I prepare for surgery?
The decision to proceed with surgery must be made jointly by you and your surgeon. You should understand as much about the procedure as possible. If you have concerns or questions, you should talk to your surgeon.
Once you decide on surgery, your surgeon may suggest a complete physical examination by your regular doctor. This exam helps ensure that you are in the best possible condition to undergo the operation.
On the day of your surgery, you will probably be admitted to the hospital early in the morning. You shouldn't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
What happens during the operation?
Patients are given a general anesthesia to put them to sleep during most spine surgeries. As you sleep, your breathing may be assisted with a ventilator. A ventilator is a device that controls and monitors the flo...