spinal stenosis is a condition where the diameter of the spinal canal
is narrowed often causing pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Patients may notice weakness or numbness into the arms or legs. Some
patients may also have imbalance and difficulty walking. Spinal stenosis
may be caused by either a congenital narrowing of the spinal canal
or by spinal arthritis. MRI scans are typically used for diagnosis
and can demonstrate the narrowing of the spinal canal. In patients
with cervical spinal stenosis, MRI may also reveal disc herniations,
bone spurs, and overgrowth of ligament.
Cervical laminoplasty expands the diameter of the spinal canal decompressing the nerves and spinal cord. This surgery is performed in about two hours. During a cervical laminoplasty, an incision is performed in the back of the neck. The posterior portion of the bony spinal canal, or lamina, are elevated. A portion of the thickened ligament is also removed. The spinal canal diameter is widened, decompressing the spinal cord and nerves. The lamina are then held in the open position using titanium miniplates. Patients are out of bed and walking generally the next day. Following surgery, patients wear a soft cervical collar for six weeks. Hospital stay is approximately 2-3 days.