Laminoplasty | Cervical Surgery | MedStar Health

About laminoplasty

MedStar Health’s spine surgeons are some of the only providers in the Washington, D.C., area to offer this advanced procedure. Our fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeons are experts at diagnosing and treating spinal stenosis and they have the expertise required to successfully perform laminoplasty.

What is laminoplasty?

Laminoplasty is a procedure used to take the pressure off your spinal cord caused by spinal stenosis. Unlike other treatments for spinal stenosis, this procedure does not limit your ability to turn and move your neck following surgery. This is because there is no fusion required during laminoplasty surgery.

Why is laminoplasty performed?

In the past, patients with cervical spinal stenosis required more extensive surgeries that would require multiple levels of the neck to be fused. Now, our leading surgeons at MedStar Health can treat spinal stenosis while preserving your range of motion.

What does the procedure involve?

Cervical Laminoplasty

This procedure is performed on the vertebrae of the neck where an opening is created in the vertebrae so that the lamina is no longer putting pressure on the spinal canal.

What does recovery involve?

Most patients will spend one or two days in the hospital recovering from surgery. A soft surgical collar is sometimes used to support the neck, and pain medication can help alleviate pain from the surgery. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) pain-relievers are not recommended for use after surgery because they may cause bleeding and interfere with bone healing.

Walking is an important part of the recovery process. However, more vigorous activity should be avoided until approved by your surgeon. Physical therapy can be used to strengthen the muscles. Nerve function typically improves over the course of several months. Cervical laminoplasty is generally successful in relieving the pain and weakness associated with spinal cord compression.

What are the benefits?

Our goal is for you to experience the following benefits:

  • Preserved range of motion

  • Ability to return to normal activities

  • Improvement or resolution of spinal cord compression symptoms such as weakness and clumsiness