The Procedure: What it is; How it Works
Posterior laminectomy is an effective surgery for lumbar and cervical stenosis from any cause, but particularly when the spinal cord is being compressed from the back by infolding or abnormally enlarged ligamentum flavum, a ligament which runs down the inside of the roof of the spinal canal.
Posterior laminectomy is an effective surgery for cervical stenosis.
The patient is placed face down on the operating table, and the head is secured with pins attached to the OR table. These pins are generally placed behind the hairline out of view, and heal quickly without special treatment.
An incision is made down the back of the neck, and the muscles are removed from the bone on both sides to expose the roof of the spinal canal, called the laminae.
The bony roof of the spinal canal over the area of greatest tightness is then removed with special instruments, and the enlarged ligamentum flavum removed until the spinal cord is fully decompressed. If arm pain is present, special attention will be paid to the area where the nerves exit, and extra bone and ligament may be removed there as well.
The incision is then closed and bandaged. There may be an option for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. The patient is usually discharged from the hospital the next day, and can return to normal activity in a few weeks.
To learn more about what to expect if you are in the hospital for one of these surgeries, click here.
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