- Laminoplasty is the process that is used to increase the amount of space available around the spinal cord. It’s performed by reconstructing the laminar arch using a posterior approach.
This procedure relieves pressure from compressed nerves. The subsequent pain, tingling sensation, weakness, and numbness that accompany spinal nerve compression is typically removed.
Laminoplasty does not involve spinal fusion. It’s designed to help preserve your range of motion. After the procedure is performed, the performance and motion of the treated area should not change.
Understanding the Laminoplasty Process
The human spine is divided into individual bones called vertebrae. There are seven vertebrae in the cervical area, twelve thoracic vertebrae, and then five lumbar vertebrae in the lower back.
Your vertebrae are stacked on top of each other. They are separated by discs. These disc are cushions, or shock absorbers. The only place in your spine where you will not find discs are the first two cervical vertebrae.
The nucleus of the disc is a soft pliable center. This is surrounded by a sturdy, durable external ring. Your discs are what allow your vertebrae to move.
Every vertebrae segment forms a bony circle. This is the spinal canal, and its purpose is to protect the spinal cord and your nerves.
The vertebras are designed to protect the front part of your spinal cord. The rear of your spinal cord is protected by the lamina bones and the pedicle.
The lamina are bones that cover the rear surface of the spinal canal. They can be compared to a roof that covers over your spinal cord. Together, the lamina, the vertebra, and the pedicle create a protective ring around the spinal cord.
The size of this bony rink is fixed. It cannot grow larger to accommodate more space. Any buildup of pressure inside the spinal canal puts additional pressure on the spinal cord.
Since your spinal cord is the connection between your brain and the rest of your body, any undue pressure put on the spinal cord is dangerous and affects the function your body’s extremities.
What a Laminoplasty Treats
Laminoplasty can be used to treat:
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Tumors
- Spinal Cord Cysts
If you have this procedure done, you will be given general anesthesia. This means that you will sleep throughout the entire procedure.
You will be placed facedown on a surgical bed. A small incision is made in your spine, which will allow the surgeon to clearly see the spine and the lamina.
Careful incisions are made in the lamina all the way through. The spaces allow the vertebra to expand, thereby creating more space in the spinal canal. The relief in the spinal canal and nerve roots is immediate.
During this procedure, your surgeon may remove any bone spurs or any other abnormalities that are contributing to the spinal compression.
A bone flap is propped open either using a small piece of bone as a wedge or screws and metal implants to guarantee that the large spinal canal will stay in place.
Recovering from Laminoplasty
You will likely remain in the hospital two or three days after the procedure. Your pain will be managed with IV pain medications as well as prescription oral medicine. When discharged, you will be given oral pain medication to take.
During your hospital stay, medical professionals will check your ability to walk and the sensations you feel in your hands, feet, and extremities. Finally, they will look at your gastrointestinal and urinary systems to make sure that they were not affected by the procedure.
In the majority of cases, patients are able to urinate, eat food, and perform other bodily functions with no difficulty even before they leave the hospital.
The key to a successful recovery is being patient with yourself. Depending on where the procedure is performed, you may have a rigid collar that you will need to wear for a few months. Your surgeon may recommend that you lay off any activity for up to three months.
You must resist the urge to try to do too much too soon as this will delay your recovery process. Some people experience immediate relief of their pain after the surgery, whereas other people feel a marked increase in their pain for the first few weeks after surgery and then the symptoms subside.
How We Can Help
Our goal is to provide you with all of the tools you need for a successful pain management therapy. We understand that each one of our patients is unique, and so our goal is to provide unique specialized treatment. We never treat our patients in a one-size-fits-all way because that style of treatment does not work.
Our first goal when you visit our clinic is to listen to you. In order for us to do our job well, we need to hear about the pain that you have experienced as well as the steps you taken the past to treat your pain.
Once we have that information, we are better equipped to create a pain management program that will meet your needs.
When you leave our facility, you will have very clear in mind what our goals are for your treatment as well as the steps we plan to take. Our goal is not just to talk to you, but instead to inform you and work with you in this process.
We understand how challenging living with and managing pain can be, and we guarantee that we will be with you every step of the way. We do not give up our clients.
Contact us today, and let us show you why our pain management system has been so successful for so many.