Cervical Laminoplasty

What is a cervical laminoplasty?

A Cervical Laminoplasty is performed to repair a restricted spinal canal. The procedure creates more space for the spinal canal and nerve roots immediately relieving pressure.

This method is sometimes called an open door laminoplasty, because the back of the spine is made to swing open like a door.

A cut is made on the back of the neck. Muscles on the back of the cervical spine are stripped from the back of the spine to identify the area of compression.

A groove is cut down one side of the spine to create a hinge.

The other side of the spine is cut all the way through.

The tips of the bones on the back of the spine are removed to create room for the spine to swing open like a door.
The back of each spinal bone is opened, taking the pressure off the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Small wedges of bone are placed in the opened space which allows the bone door from completely closing on the spinal cord.

The cut will be closed with stitches.

My Anaesthetic

This procedure will require a General Anaesthetic.

See About your Anaesthetic information sheet for information about the anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, talk these over with your doctor.

If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are some risks/complications with this procedure.

Common risks include:

  • Infection. This may need antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Minor pain, bruising and/or infection from IV cannula site. This may require treatment with antibiotics.
  • Bleeding. A return to the operating room for further surgery may be required if bleeding occurs. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung may collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increase risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.

Uncommon risks include:

  • A heart attack because of the strain on the heart.
  • Stroke or stroke like complications can occur which can cause weakness in the face, arms and legs. This could be temporary or permanent.
  • Clots in the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) with pain and swelling. Rarely part of this clot may break off and go into the lungs.
  • Ongoing persistent neck and arm pain. This may not improve after surgery and may continue to deteriorate despite surgery.
  • Nerve root injury that causes a weak arm/s, this may be temporary or permanent.

Rare risks include:

  • Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. This may need further surgery.
  • Injury to vertebral artery. This may result in stroke.
  • Meningitis. This would require further treatment and antibiotics.
  • Instability of cervical spine. This may need further surgery and fusion.
  • Quadriplegia. This may temporary or permanent.
  • Death is very rare due to this procedure.

Cervical Laminoplasty