This is a procedure that allows the surgeon to remove the pressure off the spinal cord without fusion. It is unlike a laminectomy in that NO bone is removed. Instead the volume of and the space in the spinal canal is increased by “repositioning” the lamina. Unfortunately, because this is a procedure that is performed from the back of the neck, there is more post-operative pain than procedures performed from the front of the neck. Also, this procedure is used for a specific set of problems and the patient needs to meet several criteria to be a candidate for this procedure.
Figure: This is a patient with multilevel cervical stenosis and spinal cord compression as demonstrated on the MRI. He underwent a “laminoplasty” to create more space around the spinal cord, thus relieving the pressure off and “unpinching” the spinal cord. The intraoperative radiograph on the right shows the small laminoplasty plates which are holding open the lamina and creating the space around the spinal cord.