The lamina is the “roof” of the spinal column, the portion of bone on the back of each vertebra. When certain spinal conditions occur, the spinal column can become smaller (spinal stenosis). Thickened ligaments, herniated discs and degenerative conditions can cause spinal stenosis. Removing part of the lamina and hinging it open, laminoplasty, can be a less invasive decompression surgery than completely removing the lamina (laminectomy). At DOCS Health, we offer cervical, thoracic and lumbar laminoplasty at our medical center in Beverly Hills, CA.
Laminoplasty may be recommended over laminectomy for a variety of reasons. Fully removing the lamina can cause spine instability and some patients may need a spinal fusion to restore spinal stability. Laminoplasty does leave more bone in place for improved strength. This is especially important in younger patients that may suffer from scoliosis or cervical myelopathy.
When patients have cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy due to spinal stenosis, laminoplasty may be recommended. Small incisions in the back of the neck can be used to access the affected vertebra. Our neuro-spine surgeon surgeons can carefully remove portions of the lamina to create more space in the spinal column, reducing pressure on nerve roots or the spinal cord for pain and symptom relief.
When there is spinal stenosis in the thoracic spine, it can result in back pain and radiating symptoms from nerve root or spinal cord compression. Thoracic laminoplasty can remove part of the lamina and create a hinge to create a larger spinal column space. Small screws and plates may be used to create the hinge on the back of the vertebra, supporting the small opening in the lamina until it heals.
Spinal stenosis is common in the lumbar or lower spine due to herniated discs, degenerative disease and other conditions. Lumbar laminoplasty can relieve nerve root compression without removing the entire lamina or disc and may be an alternative to fusion and other more invasive spine surgeries. Lumbar laminoplasty may be combined with a discectomy if there is a herniated disc that is also creating pressure on the nerve roots.
Laminoplasty is a less invasive surgery option for spinal decompression to relieve neck and back pain. To learn more about cervical, thoracic or lumbar laminoplasty, contact our team at DOCS Health in Los Angeles, CA, to schedule a spine surgery consultation.