Cervical laminoplasty is performed to relieve compression on the spinal cord and nerves due to cervical spinal stenosis (narrowing). Cervical stenosis can cause pain in the neck and/or arms, imbalance, clumsiness of hands, and/or hyperreflexia of arms and/or legs. The laminoplasty procedure creates more room within the spinal column by opening the lamina on one side and holding it open with metal plates. Laminoplasty preserves motion at the operated segment, therefore, is a good alternative to a fusion operation.
Here is an example of laminoplasty procedure performed on a patient with symptomatic cervical stenosis. He is assymptomatic at 1 year post-procedure.
Figure 1. Pre-op lateral x-ray which demonstrates
neutral curvature of the cervical spine with no instability.
Figure 2. Pre-op MRI shows cervical
stenosis with loss of spinal fluid (white)
posterior (behind) the spinal cord (dark).
Figure 3. Post-op lateral x-ray shows
expansion of spinal canal with
trap-door laminoplasty procedure being
held open with metal plates and screws.
Figure 4. Post-op MRI shows restoration of
spinal canal size and spinal fluid posterior to spinal cord.