Posterior Cervical Laminectomy & Fusion
There are a number of treatment options available when you have problems with the cervical spinal column. Some of those options may be nonsurgical but at times, surgery is necessary in order to correct the difficulty and to relieve some of the pressure off of the nerve root that is causing the problem. One of the types of surgeries that may be recommended by your physician is known as a posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion.
Although this type of surgery may be performed for a number of different reasons, some of the most common reasons include stenosis in the cervical area, a herniated disc, bone spurs or anything that may be placing pressure on the nerve in the area that is running down to the arm. The compression of the nerve that is to be relieved may not only affect the area of the neck and the arm, there are also instances when it may cause radiating weakness in the legs as well.
As the name of the surgery would suggest, the doctor is going to access the spinal column from the posterior, or the back of the neck. After a small incision has been made, the muscles are moved to the side in order to provide access to the spinal column. At that point, the top of the spine, known as the labia, is either going to be fully removed at the vertebrae where the disc is a problem or it may be partially removed, depending upon your condition. After further assessing the situation, your doctor may decide that another procedure, known as a foraminotomy may be performed, as this will allow additional room for the nerve root and may help to relieve the symptoms that you are experiencing.
Before closing, your doctor will perform a fusion surgery that will fuse the two vertebrae that are adjacent to each other together so that they will move as a single unit. This is done with the use of small screws but eventually, the vertebrae are going to grow together naturally and this will help to strengthen the fusion even further. If necessary, your doctor will use a piece of bone from your hip or from a bone bank.
This type of surgery is 90% effective and most people are happy with the relief that they receive after it has been completed. Since it is a surgery, however, there are still complications that could occur and they should be discussed with your physician prior to the time that the surgery takes place. Some of the more common issues that may take place include pain and numbness, incontinence, impaired muscle function and spinal instability.