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Cervical Laminoplasty – Overview

January 17, 2022


A laminoplasty is a surgical procedure that effectively enlarges the spinal canal. For patients that have severe spinal cord compression at multiple levels, and who also have normal neck alignment and relatively little neck pain, but mostly myelopathic symptoms, a posterior cervical laminoplasty can be a very good option to decompress the spinal cord, but also preserve the motion of the neck. Similar to the lumbar spine, the lamina forms the bony roof of the spinal canal. In a posterior cervical laminoplasty, a longitudinal incision is made, and a hinge is created on one side of the lamina and a wedge on the other. And that hinge is then opened in order to effectively enlarge the size of the spinal canal and to remove the pressure from the spinal cord. That opening is then held in place with tiny little metallic plates and screws and that stabilizes the opening. Most people will notice an almost immediate improvement in their arm pain and some improvement in their hand numbness after this operation. Usually a one or two night hospital stay is required after a cervical laminoplasty.

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