Cervical Laminectomy / Discectomy
A cervical laminectomy is an operative procedure of removing some bone at the neck (cervical spine) region to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves. It can also be performed to relieve the symptoms of narrowed spinal canal known as spinal stenosis. Bone spurs and arthritic facet joints can also cause problems and may need to be cut away.
Patients may experience symptoms, such as neck pain, tingling sensation, numbness or weakness that extends to the shoulders, arms and/or hands, and bowel or bladder impairment.
Laminectomy refers to removal or cutting of the lamina (roof) of the vertebral bones to provide space for the nerves to exit from the spine. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon removes part or all of the lamina to relieve the compression. Other compression sources such as bone spurs and disc fragments are also removed during surgery.
Your neck will most likely feel stiff or sore and you may find it hard to sit still for long periods. It might be difficult to lift and bend without straining your neck and back and causing pain. Pain medication will usually be prescribed.
Recovery differs between patients and surgeries. As a general guide the following are consistent with all cervical surgeries:
- Three to five days in hospital
- No heavy lifting for the first few weeks or so (and graduated lifting restrictions thereafter)
- Some time off work in order to recover
- You may need to return to work on restricted duties for a period of time
- You may not be able to drive for 4 to 6 weeks
- No swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
- Pain medication
- Rehabilitation depending on the surgery