Cervical Laminectomy

Cervical laminectomy is a procedure which is performed from the back of your neck to relieve pain and pressure caused by compression of the spinal nerves and spinal cord. The procedure involves enlargement of the spinal canal through removal of any bony area along with the surrounding soft tissue region which may be impinging the nerves and causing compression.

Indications of cervical laminectomy

Surgery is generally advised in cases where the patient has failed to respond to any conservative methods of treatment including medications, physical therapy and injections. Cervical laminectomy may be indicated in any one or more of the following conditions:

  • Cervical canal stenosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Intervertebral disc prolapse
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Degenerative changes
  • Spinal trauma
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Cervical spine instability
  • Bony overgrowths in the cervical region

Procedure of cervical laminectomy


Before the surgery your doctor may provide you with certain instructions such as avoiding smoking before the surgery and preferably complete cessation after the surgery. You may be advised to refrain from eating/drinking up to a certain time before your surgery begins. Your doctors also recommend you to temporarily stop taking some medications (anti-platelet drugs, blood thinners, herbal medicines etc) at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery.

During the procedure

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so you are unconscious and would not feel any pain during the procedure. Your surgeon then makes an incision at the back of your neck along the midline and gently moves the muscles of your neck away from the spinal bones. The size of the incision depends on your specific condition and body size. Now, the appropriate bony roof/lamina is carefully removed using small surgical instruments and drills. In some cases spinal fusion may be done using rods and screws for improving spinal stability. Next, an X-ray is taken to determine the cervical spine alignment and finally the incision is closed with stitches.


Once the cervical laminectomy procedure has been completed you will be observed, monitored and evaluated for any complications. Although most people are discharged on the same of the surgery, some may require a short hospital stay. Majority of the people experience significant symptomatic relief after the surgery and complete recovery may take up to 6 weeks.


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