Laminoplasty is a surgical technique for the management of spinal stenosis; an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal. The aim of the surgery is to relieve the pressure over the spinal cord, alleviate pain and restore function. The most common cause of spinal stenosis is age related degenerative arthritis. Degenerative changes of the spine, bone spurs, arthritis and disc herniation cause narrowing of the spinal canal. This can exert pressure over the spinal cord and/or the nerve roots causing pain in the neck or back, numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling sensation in the leg, foot, arm or hand.
Laminoplasty, also referred to as open door laminoplasty, may be considered if conservative treatments such as medications, injections, and physical therapy fail to provide adequate relief. Laminoplasty may also be recommended in patients with significant nerve damage.
Laminoplasty increases space for the spinal cord and nerve roots by cutting through the lamina; the bony roof covering the spinal cord. During the procedure, the lamina is completely cut on one side and partially cut on the other. This allows the vertebrae to open like a door, thus increasing the space in the spinal canal and relieving pressure over the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Following the surgery, most patients will be hospitalized for several days. Physical therapy may be advised to strengthen the muscles, after surgery. Patients usually experience pain and disability during the healing process.