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Cervical Laminectomy

February 14, 2012 555 No of hits
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Cervical Laminectomy

A cervical laminectomy is a surgical procedure performed to ease the effects of cervical spinal stenosis. Cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that causes nerve compression and neck pain. It most commonly occurs in people over age 60 and is caused by the natural spinal degeneration that is a part of aging. Some cases are the result of repeated stress on the spine.

The lamina is a bone at the back of the spinal canal that helps protect the spinal cord. A cervical laminectomy removes or modifies the bone by widening it with a surgical drill, thus giving the spinal cord more room within the spinal canal. If any bone spurs are present and interfering with nerve function, they are removed at the time the laminectomy is performed.

Cervical laminectomy is performed with a posterior approach, meaning the surgeon enters through the back of the neck. This requires the patient to be face down on the operating table. Once the incision is made the surgeon will move aside the muscles, arteries, and nerves to expose the cervical spine. An X-ray is taken at this point to verify that the correct vertebrae have been exposed. Once the lamina is removed and bone spurs extracted, the muscles, arteries, and nerves are returned to their proper positions and the incision is closed.

It is advantageous not to remove the entire lamina if possible, since this can cause stability problems with the facet joints that lie between each vertebrae. When possible the surgeon will only partially cut through the lamina on one side and fold it back to create a hinge effect. As the hinge side heals it holds the opposite side open allowing more room for the spinal cord to float within the spinal canal. After surgery the patient is placed in a brace that immobilizes the neck while it heals.

Tags:   Cervical laminectomy   Cervical spinal stenosis   Spinal cord   Spinal canal  

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A cervical laminectomy is a surgical procedure performed to ease the effects of cervical spinal stenosis. Cervical spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that causes nerve compression and neck pain. It most commonly occurs in people over age 60 and is caused by the natural spinal...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

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