Gary Alegre, MD
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon located in Stockton, CA
Of all the surgical procedures to decompress pinched nerves in your neck, cervical laminoplasty is the only one guaranteed to prevent the need for a spinal fusion. As an expert in spine surgery, Gary Alegre, MD, in Stockton, California, often recommends cervical laminoplasty to patients who need relief from the pain and other symptoms caused by cervical nerve damage. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature today.
Cervical Laminoplasty Q & A
What is a cervical laminoplasty?
Laminoplasty is a surgical procedure to decompress spinal nerves by enlarging the space in the spinal canal. When you have a laminoplasty to relieve pressure from nerves in your neck, the procedure is called a cervical laminoplasty.
The opening in the center of your vertebrae forms a protective space for the spinal cord. At each vertebra, nerve roots branch off from the spinal cord and go through another opening to travel out to your body.
The bones surrounding the spinal canal normally protect the nerves. But spine conditions that protrude into the space pinch the nearby nerves.
What spine conditions may need a cervical laminoplasty?
You may suffer a neck injury that affects the spinal canal and compresses nerves. You can also end up with pinched nerves if you have spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis generally refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal. This problem most often comes from conditions such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, bone spurs, and thickened ligaments. A slipped vertebra can also narrow the spinal canal.
What symptoms indicate I may need cervical laminoplasty?
A pinched nerve, called cervical radiculopathy, causes neck pain and neurological symptoms that affect your shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. For example, a tingling sensation or a sharp or burning pain can travel down the nerve, going through your shoulder and arm and into your hand.
Cervical radiculopathy may also cause numbness or weakness in your arm and hand. In severe cases, pinched cervical nerves affect your ability to grasp or hold items.
What happens during a cervical laminoplasty?
The back side of each vertebra has two flat, arch-shaped bones (laminae) that form the outer part of the spinal canal. During a laminoplasty, Dr. Alegre targets these bones.
Dr. Alegre cuts one side of the lamina and makes a groove on the other side. The groove creates a space that acts like a hinge and allows Dr. Alegre to slightly swing open the lamina.
The opening immediately enlarges the spinal canal and takes the pressure off compressed nerves. In addition to easing your pain, the best part about this procedure is that it doesn’t require a spinal fusion.
After Dr. Alegre opens the lamina, he secures and stabilizes the opening with a bone graft. The bone graft essentially acts like an extension that enlarges the lamina.
To learn if you’re a good candidate for a cervical laminoplasty, call Gary Alegre, MD, or schedule an appointment online.