Neck (Cervical) Pain Cervical Laminotomy

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Cervical Laminotomy as a Neck Pain Treatment

Your spine is made of 33 vertebrae, and one area of each vertebra is called the lamina. Sometimes, neck pain is due to nerve compression from herniated discs or bone spurs, so a cervical laminotomy is performed to remove part of the lamina as a means to take pressure off of compressed spinal nerves, thus providing pain relief.

Neck Pain Treatments – Understanding Cervical Laminotomy

The cervical spine or neck is prone to a host of different problems. Sometimes, these problems cause such difficulties that a portion of the individual vertebrae must be removed in order to provide adequate pain relief. A cervical laminotomy may provide such reliefs when other neck pain treatment attempts have failed.  This procedure removes only a small portion of the lamina and leaves the vertebrae involved otherwise intact.

Is Cervical Laminotomy the Right Neck Pain Treatment Option for You?

Anyone who has lived with chronic neck pain knows that it can be almost disabling at times. There are many types of neck pain, and most of them are the result of problems relating to spinal vertebrae, muscles or nerves. Nerve issues can be among the most difficult to manage because the nerves run between the vertebrae of the cervical spine and out to the hands and arms. Anything that causes the nerves to become inflamed or irritated can lead to neck pain but also to problems with coordination, strength, or sensation in the hands and arms too.

When certain issues such as herniated discs or bone spurs create pain and other symptoms, they may need to be addressed with surgery. Though non-invasive options such as chiropractic care, physical therapy and medications should be among the first attempts at treating cervical spine conditions, the removal of part of the vertebra known as the lamina is often required for some patients. Fortunately, there are two approaches to this surgical remedy, and the cervical laminotomy as a neck pain treatment is the simpler of the two.

Rather than removing the entire lamina, as would be the case with a complete laminectomy, the cervical laminotomy removes only the portion of the lamina that is required to access the problem within the spinal column. For example, a bone spur may be pressing a nerve or narrowing the channel through which it passes. A cervical laminotomy will allow the surgeon to remove the spur and relieve the pressure. The same is true of a herniated disc and the surgeon simply removes the small area of the lamina, takes out the herniated disc and then closes the area.

Many patients say that their arm or hand pain, as well as the neck pain, is resolved after cervical laminotomy. However, rehabilitation and proper recovery steps are still necessary. These can include the use of a cervical collar to protect the neck and offer stability. Therapy may be needed as well, though this is something that varies by patient and should be discussed with an expert spine surgeon prior to the procedure.
The use of cervical laminotomy as a neck pain treatment is one solution to eliminating cervical spine nerve compression and irritation. Though it is important to try alternatives to surgery when possible, if conservative measures have not helped you, be sure to discuss surgical options with your doctor to prevent further cervical spine and to restore optimal spine health.

At a Glance: Cervical Laminotomy as a Neck Pain Treatment

  • The cervical laminotomy removes only a small portion of the lamina (a part of the vertebra)
  • Commonly used for resolving issues caused by bone spurs or herniated discs, cervical laminotomy frees the nerves from compression to resolve associated neck and arm pain
  • This treatment usually requires the use of a cervical collar, or neck brace for support after surgery.

Health Tips For Laminotomy

  • Unfortunately, good posture and proper spinal health may not protect some people from conditions that cause neck pain
  • Focus on hydration as spinal discs are mostly water and much of the spine’s proper function requires adequate lubrication
  • Properly wearing a neck brace post-surgery helps with recovery, healing and cervical spine stability
  • If your pain has not been alleviated with non-surgical treatments, let your physician know immediately

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