Posterior Cervical Laminectomy & Discectomy

There are a number of problems that can occur with the spinal canal in the area of the neck, usually referred to as the cervical area. Although there may be a number of treatment options considered by your physician, a type of surgery may also be recommended that is known as a posterior cervical laminectomy and discectomy. During the surgery, part of the bone from the back of the vertebrae is going to be removed and the offending disc is going to be partially removed as well.

There are a number of reasons why this type of surgery may be performed. In some cases, it is due to a herniated disc that is placing pressure on the nerve in the area that is typically leading to the arm. There may also be pressure that is put on the nerve for a number of different reasons as well, including stenosis that occurs in cervical area or bone spurs. The surgery is designed to relieve some of the pressure by removing the bone during the laminectomy part of the procedure. Since the offending disc is also going to be partially removed, it may relieve the pressure from the nerve and reduce the problems that you are experiencing.

The surgery is performed with access from the back, or posterior. After an incision has been made in the area, the muscles will be moved to the side in order to allow the spine to be accessed. At that point, the lamia, which is the bone at the back of the spine is going to be removed and this will allow for the decompression of the spinal cord in the area. The lamia may be completely removed or it may only be partially removed, depending upon your condition. At that point, the discectomy will occur and part of the intervertebral disc that has become herniated or has degenerated will be removed.

Nine out of 10 individuals who have a posterior cervical laminectomy and discectomy are satisfied with the outcome. There may also be complications, as there are possible complications with any type of surgery. You should discuss the possibility for any of these complications with your physician before having the surgery and keep them updated on any problems that occurred after it has taken place. Some of the more common problems, although they rarely occur, include pain, loss of muscle function, unstable spine, incontinence and injury to the area, including injury to the blood vessels.