The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck are surrounded
and protected by the cervical vertebrae. These bones
have an opening called the spinal canal through which
the spinal cord passes. Ligaments and blood vessels
are also present in the spinal canal. The nerve roots
start at the spinal cord and pass through an opening
between the vertebrae called the intervertebral foramen
(or neural foramen). From there, they extend to other
parts of the body.
Spinal stenosis is a condition where there is narrowing
of the spinal canal and often the neural foramen that
causes compression of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots.
This narrowing is caused by numerous factors including
bone spurs, degeneration of the intervertebral disks
and facet joints, and thickening of the ligaments. Among
the symptoms spinal stenosis can produce are pain and/or
numbness in the arms, clumsiness of the hands, and gait
is a procedure intended to relieve pressure on the spinal
cord while maintaining the stabilizing effects of the
posterior elements of the vertebrae.
The laminoplasty procedure involves "hinging" one side
of the posterior elements of the spine and cutting the
other side to form a "door". As seen in the illustrations
here, the door is then opened and held in place with
By relieving pressure on the spinal cord it is the
goal of laminaplasty to stop the progression of damage
to the spinal cord and allow for as much recovery of
function as possible.
here to view an animation explaining Laminoplasty.
for links to neck and back surgery web sites
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