What to Expect From a Laminoplasty

Spinal stenosis is a condition which can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves along the vertebrae of the neck. This can lead to symptoms such as numbness, weakness, or problems with movement in their arms. One potential treatment option is a laminoplasty.

If the surgeon suggests the surgery, you may be wondering what is a laminoplasty? 

It is a procedure where the surgeon opens up the lamina, just like a door, and then secures it with sutures or bone to enlarge the spinal column. It is an effective procedure for patients who suffer from spinal stenosis and can be performed by a trusted back doctor.

What Should I Know About a Laminoplasty?

A laminoplasty aims to remove pressure from the spinal cord. This pressure is created by spinal stenosis, which itself can be caused by any of the following: 

  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Herniated discs
  • Fractures

Stenosis can occur at numerous levels of the spine at the same time. If it becomes severe enough, then spinal cord damage can occur. If left untreated, in rare cases it can even lead to paralysis.

Fortunately, a laminoplasty can help to relieve symptoms and correct the condition to prevent it from progressing further. The goal of the surgery is to reduce narrowing in the spinal column. Essentially it creates more room for the spinal cord and nerve roots. 

What are the Risks of a Laminoplasty? 

As with any surgery, there are some risks to be aware of as a patient. Complications can include: 

  • Pain and numbness due to manipulation of the nerves during surgery
  • Anesthetic complications
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • A recurrence or continuance of pain
  • Unexpected bleeding
  • Infection

It is important to understand that many of these risks are extremely rare. By following proper preoperative and postoperative instructions, the likelihood of complications is very low. 

Will a Laminoplasty Relieve My Symptoms? 

Many patients find that laminoplasty is successful in relieving pain, numbness, and weakness. For most patients, the goal is to prevent worsening symptoms and avoid the stenosis from advancing to severe damage. The best predictor of success is how the patient was functioning at baseline before the surgery. 

Do Spine Surgeons in Palm Beach County do the surgery as an Outpatient Procedure, or Will I stay in the Hospital? 

You can expect the surgery to be done in the hospital, and it usually requires a one to two-day hospital stay. Often patients feel pain in the back of their neck after the surgery. It may be present for some time after discharge but improves over the course of weeks after the surgery. 

A drain may be placed in the neck during the surgery, and nursing staff will remove it one to two days after the surgery. The drain helps with the chance of excessive bleeding after the surgery. 

Walking and very light activity is okay soon after surgery, but you should avoid any heavy lifting. Guidelines for discharge are usually some pain tolerance, stable vital signs, walking on your own, and eating without nausea. 

What Do Surgeons Recommend After Surgery? 

Your surgeon will provide you with specific discharge instructions after the surgery. Usually included recommendations for patients include:

  • Walking daily
  • A balance between activity and rest
  • Taking pain medications as prescribed and avoid driving while on pain medications
  • Avoid carrying heavy items such as groceries or laundry

Other specific discharge instructions may be given to you by your provider. Be sure to ask questions or express any concerns about your procedure with your surgeon. 

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Are you in need of a back doctor in Delray Beach or Fort Lauderdale

Consult one of the best orthopedic surgeons in your area, Dr. Matthew Hepler, to get the right diagnosis and know the best course of action for your condition.

Dr. Hepler is a trusted orthopedic spine surgeon that offers expertise in both surgical and non-surgical treatments of spine-related ailments. With over 17 years of experience, he provides individualized and high-quality care to every patient. 

Start living a back pain-free life! Contact us to learn more or schedule a consultation to discuss referrals for your condition or answers for treatment if you have a back or neck condition. We look forward to assisting you. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.