When the spinal cord and nerves have become compressed, and you’re seeking treatment options, a cervical laminoplasty is often selected. Unlike the laminectomy, a procedure in which bone material is removed from the spine to reduce pressure on the nerves, a laminoplasty provides relief without the removal of material.
Identifying Possible Spinal Compression By Its Symptoms
Stenosis, the compression or narrowing of the space inside the spinal channels, often results in discomfort and pain in the neck. However, in some cases, the pain can manifest in the legs rather than in the neck itself. In advanced cases where prior treatment wasn’t sought it’s possible for other symptoms to appear, including difficulty walking, numbness in the arms, loss of bladder control, and even the loss of motor control in the fingers and hands. Treating these symptoms requires that the pressure that’s causing them be relieved.
Laminoplasty: A Doorway To Relief
As bone spurs grow in and on your spine, the nerves can become compressed. This condition can also be caused by the herniation of a disc, in the case of cervical laminoplasty a disc in the neck portion of the spine. Illustrating the difference between a laminectomy and a laminoplasty can be done by comparing windows and doors. Laminectomies remove material to create a permanently open window that provides space and relieves pressure. A laminoplasty, on the other hand, creates a sort of hinge in the vertebrae that forms a door that can be opened to create additional space without removing material. This entry is then held open with wedges so that the pressure remains relieved.
Laminectomy vs. Laminoplasty
These two procedures treat the same conditions, but there are definite differences between them that can play a role in determining which one your doctor will use. The number of bone spurs and the speed of their growth will have to be considered, as a laminoplasty works better for those who have fewer bone spurs and little sign of rapid growth. Laminectomies get performed in cases where the bone spurs are large in number and quick in their growth, as it provides a more aggressive solution that ensures that the pressure will remain relieved long term.
One of the driving forces behind using a laminoplasty is that the natural material of the body remains. At the current levels of medical technology no replacement can be said to be as good as the original material of the body itself, so physicians typically try to keep as much of it as possible in place.
If you suspect that you’re experiencing symptoms that indicate cervical stenosis, or a narrowing of the nerve pathways in the neck, its time to consult Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin, your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV. Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, loss of range of motion in the neck, or radiating pain that extends to your arms or even legs can all be signs of stenosis. Contact your doctor today for a consultation and exam that will be used to determine if a cervical laminoplasty is right for you.