Page 2 - Laminoplasty

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The Laminoplasty procedure itself works as follows. The
incision is carried out from the back of the neck until the
bone, or lamina, covering the spinal cord is exposed.
A groove is cut on both sides and on one side the bony
covering over the spinal canal is wedged open. Next Dr.
Pazmiño places custom bone wedges along the opening
to keep the new roof and expanded space open. This is
similar to adding a level or additional floor to your house.
This effectively expands the room in the canal for the spinal
cord, and creates an environment where it can heal.
These small bony wedges are held in place with small
plates and screws, an example of such a plate is seen
below. Within 3 - 6 months the bony wedges heal, and
activities can continue unrestricted. Until then these plates
help keep the newly formed bony roof in position.
Small Laminar
Post Operative Instructions
Following a cervical laminoplasty, you may notice an
immediate improvement of some or all of your symp-
toms; other symptoms may improve more gradually and
can heal up to three years after surgical decompression.
The amount of time that you have to stay in the hospital
will depend on your treatment plan. The average hospital
stay is 3-4 days. You typically will be up and walking in
the hospital by the end of the first day after the surgery.
Your return to work will depend on how well your body
is healing and the type of work/activity level you plan
to return to. The average patient requires 3 -4 weeks to
return to surgery. One to two weeks to return to driving.
The pain after surgery will be primarily from the surgical
incision and patients feel like a muscle sprain in the back
of their neck which is treated with ice, heat packs and
pain medication.
Some patients benefit from a course of focused cervical
physical therapy afterwards to work on mobilization,
gentle range of motion exercises and neck muscular
strengthening. A neck brace is only worn for comfort.
You will be allowed to shower immediately after sur-
gery provided you keep your incision clean and dry and
change your dressing daily afterwards. You will require
3- 4 weeks before being allowed inside a jacuzzi, pool
or the ocean.
Work closely with Dr. Pazmiño to determine the appro-
priate recovery protocol for you, and follow his instruc-
tions “to the letter” to optimize the healing process. For
further information on this and other procedures refer to
our website
www . spinecal .com
If cervical spondylosis results in pressure on the
spinal cord (cervical stenosis), it can damage
the spinal cord and nerves, this condition is
Cervical Myelopathy.
Signs of Cervical Spondylosis with Myelopathy
* Tingling, numbness, and/or weakness
in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
* Lack of coordination
* Difficulty walking
* Abnormal reflexes
* Muscle spasms
* Loss of control over bladder and bowel
* Cervical radiculopathy pain shooting
down one or both arms
How is cervical spondylosis diagnosed?
Dr. Pazmiño will generally begin by asking you
about your symptoms and taking a medical his-
tory. This will be followed by a physical exami-
nation of the body, with a focus on the neck,
back, and shoulders to find sore spots. Dr.
Pazmiño will also test reflexes, your strength,
and watch you walk. An abnormal gait caused
by difficulty walking is one of the symptoms.
Other tests that might be done include imaging
exams such as X-rays, computed tomography
(CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).