Decompression - Cervical

Description
When conservative treatments no longer provide lasting relief of your neck and/or arm pain, surgical intervention may be recommended.  Decompression is the surgical removal of any material that places pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves. The compression may be the result of a narrowed spinal canal due to excessive growth of bone or tissues in the neck, or a disc herniation.

Laminoplasty
A laminoplasty is performed to make the opening through which the spinal canal travels larger. A laminoplasty involves expanding the spinal canal by repositioning the lamina, or arched part of the vertebrae that forms the back of the spinal canal.

Procedure Details
• An incision is made in the back of the neck.
• Fluoroscopy, or live x-ray, is used to determine the correct level(s) to be operated.
• One side of the lamina is scored to act as a hinge.
• The other side of the lamina is cut and propped open with small metal plates and screws.
• Surgery takes approximately 1-2 hours.
 
Foraminotomy
A foraminotomy is performed to enlarge the space where the nerve roots exit the spinal cord, called the foramen.  A foraminotmy may involve removal bone and/or herniated disc that may be compressing the spinal nerves.

Procedure Details
• An incision is made in the back of the neck.
• Fluoroscopy, or live x-ray, is used to determine the correct level(s) to be operated.
• The foramen, or space where the nerve roots exit the spinal cord, is enlarged.
• The disc herniation or bone spurs are removed.
• Surgery takes approximately 1-2 hours.

Recovery
While recovery after decompression surgery is usually relatively brief, it can vary among patients.  Age, as well as overall health, will play a role in each individual’s recovery time. Return to work also varies among patients and is related to overall health and the kind of work you do.

 

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Questions?

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