A Guide to Cervical Laminectomy Surgery
One of the most common spinal conditions affecting patients today is known as spinal stenosis. This condition is characterized by a number of different symptoms and often occurs in conjunction with other spinal conditions and overall wear and tear. Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal cord (and/or its associated nerves) becomes pinched and compressed by other parts of the spinal complex. And while this condition can occur at any area of the spine, it is far more common in the upper, cervical spine, in the neck area. According to Dr. Baird, the top spine surgeon New Jersey has to offer, cervical spinal stenosis occurs due to the narrowing of the spinal canal or the openings from which the nerves pass through. This compression of the spinal cord or nerves can lead to a number of different, debilitating symptoms that can drastically impede the patient’s daily life. Some of these symptoms include:
· Intense Shooting Pains – Radiating out from the spinal region, to the arms, neck, shoulders, and possibly even the legs – especially when a patient is moving or bending forward.
· Heaviness in the legs.
· Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the arms, shoulders and neck.
· Poor or deteriorating motor skills.
· Mobility issues – An overall slow gait.
While these symptoms are debilitating and can truly dampen a patient’s daily life, the top spine surgeon New Jersey has in practice, Dr. Evan Baird and his team at Comprehensive Spine Care offer patients a number of options to alleviate the effects of these symptoms – including non-invasive methods like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory steroid injections, and pain relievers; or in the event those methods prove ineffective, a surgical procedure known as the cervical laminectomy has been shown to provide excellent results, and reduce the overall compression on the spinal cord.
Cervical spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the cervical spine occurs over time, as a result of aging. When this canal begins to narrow, it compresses the nerves and the spine itself – leading to the symptoms stated above. In order to relieve this compression, being the top spine surgeon New Jersey patients trust for invasive treatment methods, Dr. Baird will recommend a cervical laminectomy. In this procedure, the objective is to reduce the compression by, removing a portion of the vertebra, known as the lamina, and its accompanying spinous process. The lamina is essentially the covering of the spinal canal.
The procedure begins will an approximately 3-inch incision made vertically into the patient’s neck. Once Dr. Baird enters the body through the incision, he must either cut through or move aside the paraspinal muscles that prevent access to the spine. Using a high-speed burr, a tool that is similar to a bone saw, he will then make cuts on either side of the affected lamina – allowing us to remove the spinous process and lamina as a single piece. Once this bone is removed, that specific portion of the spine now has the space needed to heal, and the previous compression has been alleviated. We then move the paraspinal muscles back into place, and close the incision. In some instances, however, patients may also require the addition of spinal fusion as well. Spinal fusion fuses two or more vertebrae into a single unit using a bone graft and some type of supporting implant, such as a metal plate and/or screws. As the top spine surgeon New Jersey has to offer, Dr. Baird specializes in less-invasive variations of spine surgery, such as this. By doing so, he can greatly mitigate the risks and side effects of surgery, and lower the recovery time. Patients will have to wear a brace and will be in recovery for weeks to months after, however, they can generally return to their daily activities within a few days. For more information on spinal issues, contact Comprehensive Spine Care today.