This procedure is performed with interoperative neurological monitoring, and is indicated when conservative non-operative treatment measures have failed with severe neurologic symptoms such as myelopathy.
Dr. Lanman will make an incision on the back of the neck and dissect the tissues in order to access the spine. The spinal level is identified and verified with intraoperative X-rays. Under magnification, the bony arches of the cervical spine are then surgically opened (like a drawbridge) to expose the lining over the spinal cord. This maneuver decompresses the previously compressed spinal cord. This bony hinge is secured in place with small portions of cadaveric bone that act as struts. The deep tissues are sutured back into anatomic alignment. The skin is closed with a plastic surgical closure.
After your surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. A cervical collar will be necessary for several weeks after the surgery. You should be able to walk the day after the procedure.