Approach: This procedure is typically done in multi-level spinal cord compression – when the disease encompasses multiple vertebrae. An incision is made at the back of the neck and the muscle and tissues are gently moved until the rear of the spine is exposed.
Decompression: The edges of the cervical laminae are cut, thus freeing up space for the spinal cord and nerve roots. This allows the spinal cord to float free and relieve the pressure.
Stabilization: Titanium plates are installed on the edges of the laminae, and then connected back to the vertebrae. This widens the space occupied by the spinal cord and keeps pressure off the cord and nerve roots. Typically fusion is not needed in this type of procedure.
After surgery, patients will remain in the hospital for one day. Most patients are able to return to all activities within a week. A postoperative rehabilitation program is usually prescribed to guide return to activities and normal life.