Cervical laminectomy is a term used to describe the removal of the lamina from a vertebra to access the spinal cord and the area surrounding it. This is a necessary step in many spinal surgeries, and is frequently used in order to remove bone spurs compressing the spinal cord and spinal nerves, as well as to remove herniated discs or pieces of damaged discs from the spine. To find out more about cervical laminectomy or another type of spinal surgery, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. Call Call407-303-5452 to make an appointment.
Why Is Laminectomy Necessary?
Bone spurs pressing on the spinal cord and spinal nerves are painful. However, if left untreated, the condition can worsen. It can go from one of chronic pain to what is called myelopathy. In this situation, patients can lose control of their bowels, find walking difficult, and even begin to lose motor skills in their hands and fingers. Treatment of the condition is necessary to restore control, mobility and quality of life.
How Does It Work?
A cervical laminectomy is a deceptively simple procedure. Dr. Chetan Patel will make a small incision in the back of the neck in order to access the vertebra in question. Once the incision is made, an x-ray will be taken to ensure that this is the correct surgical location. Once confirmed, the surgeon will remove the lamina – the back covering of the vertebra, which protects the spinal cord. However, the entire lamina will not be removed. Only a small “window” is created to ensure that the facets of the vertebra remain intact and provide greater stability than would be possible if the entire lamina were removed.
Once the lamina has been removed, Dr. Patel can shift the nerve out of the way and remove any disc fragments in the area. Bone spurs will also be removed during this period. Finally, a full inspection of the tissue for health and condition will be conducted, prior to the wound being closed.
Recovery after Cervical Laminectomy
Laminectomy requires relatively short recovery times. Patients are usually able to walk just an hour after the procedure is completed, though you may be required to wear a neck brace for a short period to keep the neck at a comfortable angle. Pain relief experienced is usually immediate, and will become greater as the surgery site heals. You will likely be discharged from the hospital the same day, and can resume driving a vehicle within one to two weeks. During the interim, you’ll need to move your neck carefully. Light work can be resumed inside a month, and more strenuous types of work can be resumed within two or three months, though this will vary depending on your specific situation. You can also expect a very limited period of rehabilitation.
To learn more about cervical laminectomy or to discuss your other options in spine surgery, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. You can make an appointment by calling Call407-303-5452.