Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD, Spine Surgeon
Cervical laminoplasty is performed to decompress, or remove the pressure, from a spinal cord that is compressed by the buildup of bone spurs, discs, or ligaments in the cervical spine. It is most commonly performed for patients who have cervical myelopathy. A cervical myelopathy is a compressed spinal cord which may lead to various symptoms, including clumsiness of the arms, imbalance walking, numbness or weakness, etc.). The laminoplasty is usually done in patients who have spinal cord compression arising from multiple different spinal levels.
The major advantage of laminoplasty over other non-fusion alternatives is that laminoplasty better preserves the normal alignment of the neck. This may have benefits over time in terms of preventing recurring compression on the spinal cord or the development of abnormal neck curvature.
Laminoplasty is not suitable for all patients.
How is a Laminoplasty Performed?
An incision is made on the back of the neck (posterior). The muscles are then retracted to allow for access to the spine. At each level requiring surgery, an “opening” is created on one side of the lamina. On the other side of the lamina, a “hinge” is created by thinning the bone but not removing it completely. This then allows us to “open” the lamina by lifting up on the open side. The procedure thus increases the space available for the spinal cord to pass through. In order to insure that the space created by repositioning the lamina remains open, we may use "mini-plates" of titanium or bone to hold the opening in position.
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Techniques
Minimally invasive spine surgery generally results in the same surgical outcome as with more traditional techniques. However, there are potential advantages to minimally invasive techniques. These advantages may include:
Dr. Haid assesses the use of Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures where ever they may be appropriate. His experience in the area of cervical disease is unexcelled. If you want to learn more about Dr. Haid's contribution to cervical spine surgery, you may wish to visit the Patents and Innovations area of this website.