Neck pain is among the most difficult conditions people face. Sometimes the pain comes from an underlying disease or condition. Other times, people suffer neck pain from prolonged movements like staring up and down at a computer, sleeping in the wrong position, or stress. Most neck pain results from degenerative changes in the vertebrae and joints of the neck.

After trying non-invasive methods to manage or alleviate pain, a posterior cervical laminectomy surgery is another possible treatment for chronic neck pain that comes from a degenerative condition such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spondylosis. Neck surgery can drastically increase someone’s quality of life if they are a candidate. If you are suffering from neck pain, talk with your doctor about posterior cervical laminectomy surgery to find out if you qualify. Until you have the chance to meet with one of our spinal specialists, here is some introductory information about the procedure.

What Is Posterior Cervical Laminectomy Surgery?

Posterior cervical laminectomy surgery is a surgical procedure that involves removing part of the bony arch or lamina on the upper part of the spine, near the neck, to reduce pressure on the spinal cord. This procedure is often performed to treat several conditions, including spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or bone spurs in the cervical area that cause compression on the spinal cord, resulting in neck pain, weakness, numbness, and other symptoms. 

The surgery can be performed using traditional open surgery or minimally-invasive techniques, depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s overall health. The goal of the surgery is to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord, allowing the nerves to function normally and reducing pain and other symptoms.

How Do Surgeons Perform a Posterior Cervical Laminectomy Surgery?

Degenerative neck conditions typically result in the swelling of nerves and pressure on the spinal cord. These disorders can also cause spinal ligaments to thicken and press on the spinal cord. Ultimately, surgeons want to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots during a cervical laminectomy.

A posterior cervical laminectomy procedure requires general anesthesia. Your surgeon will then make a small incision on the back of your neck. The common description of this surgery is to remove the lamina to create more room in the spinal canal and relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. However, complete removal does not always occur.

Removing the lamina completely can cause stability issues in the neck joints. Sometimes, spinal surgeons prevent this issue by cutting one side of the lamina and folding it back a little instead of completely removing it. This keeps the spine stable and prevents forward tilting during the healing process. Your surgeon will review your X-rays and medical history to determine the best way to perform the procedure for your body. 

If the source of your pain and the pressure on your spinal cord stems from a herniated disc, there is a good chance your surgeon will recommend a partial or complete discectomy during your posterior cervical laminectomy surgery. Discectomy is the medical term for removing an intervertebral disc from the spine.

Recovering From a Posterior Cervical Laminectomy Surgery

Your neck is far more mobile than the rest of your body, so it must remain stabilized while you heal. Depending on the extent of your condition and whether you have other procedures done with your laminectomy, you might have to stay in the hospital for two or three days. It’s likely you will have to wear a brace for a while after surgery and expect to start physical therapy a few weeks after surgery. 

Additionally, patients who undergo a posterior cervical laminectomy cannot lift, carry anything more than a pound, or drive a vehicle until cleared by their doctor. Your surgeon encourages walking for exercise because many other activities are limited. It’s also recommended to avoid riding in a vehicle, especially long distances. A driver slamming on the brakes or an accident could cause further damage or prevent proper healing.

Contact the Experienced Back and Spine Specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery Today

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery offers various minimally-invasive and invasive treatments to people suffering from neck pain. Our team has a reputation as a leader in orthopedic spine surgery. We can help make sure that you get the treatment you need to help alleviate any symptoms you may be experiencing.

The experienced back and spine specialists at OLSS are dedicated to providing the best care and treatment to patients who suffer from neck pain, and other issues along the spinal column.  Contact us online or call us at (855) 853-6542 to learn more about posterior cervical laminectomy and to find out if you are a candidate for this or another type of surgery.

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