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Cervical Laminectomy

This decompression surgery is performed on the neck to treat spinal stenosis or arthritis of the spine that can cause myelopathy, an injury to the spinal cord resulting in muscle weakness, difficulty walking, or loss of bowel and/or bladder control. Cervical laminectomy creates space in the spinal canal by removing bone called the lamina, as well as any enlarged ligaments causing pressure. Bone spurs can develop in the lamina, the back part of the vertebra that protects the spine, causing compression that leads to pain, weakness, or numbness in the arms and legs.

The surgery is performed when conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and medication, fail to relieve pain. While the patient is under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision in the middle of the back of the neck to access the spine, then removes the lamina and shaves any bone spurs before closing the incision. Patients are usually discharged within one to two days.

Most patients can resume normal activities within a few weeks. Your spine surgeon will give you specific information related to your particular condition and lifestyle goals, as well as a detailed description of the surgery and instructions on how to make the best recovery.

Spine Disease and Back Pain

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