Cervical Laminectomy Surgery
Treatment For Neck Pain Relief
A cervical laminectomy is a surgical procedure to remove pressure on the nerves in the neck which is caused by thickened ligament and arthritis. The lamina, which is the bone forming the roof of the spinal canal, is removed in order to take pressure off of the nerves in the neck. The procedure is done through a vertical incision in the low back and the microscope is used to provide excellent visualization of the nerves.
Reasons to Have the Cervical Laminectomy Surgery
This surgery is generally performed to relieve arm pain or to decrease pressure on the spinal cord.
Description of Procedure
Before the operation begins, the anesthesiologist will put the patient to sleep. The patient will then be turned on to their stomach in the operating room. This is done in an extremely careful manner to protect all pressure points. The head is placed in a special fixation device. After the appropriate antibiotics are given, x-ray may be used to guide the placement of the incision. The incision is performed in the midline. When the lamina, or roof of the spinal canal, is exposed, the surgeon then removes this portion while visualizing it under the microscope. Micro-instruments are used to make sure that the nerves are completely free. After this is done, the wound is irrigated with an antibiotic solution and closed.
Patients are generally discharged to home the following day. The pain in the arm is typically significantly improved, although the patient may experience numbness in the arm, twinges of arm pain, pain around the incision and, at times, spasms of the neck muscles. Medications will be given for this and should improve within one to two weeks after surgery.
Patients should keep their neck incisions dry until they are seen in the office generally seven to ten days after surgery. They should try to avoid any bending, lifting or twisting four to six weeks after surgery. Depending upon the type of work they do for a living and how strenuous their job requirements are, they may return to work within two to four weeks with some temporary restrictions.
Risks of the surgery are generally low. Potential risks include bleeding, infection, nerve injury, spinal cord injury, and spinal fluid leak.
For more information on the Cervical Laminectomy or for a consultation at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute please call: