Posterior Cervical Laminoplasty

Advantages of a Posterior Cervical Laminoplasty (PCL)

Unfortunately, minimally invasive procedures are not viable in all cases. In more severe cases, for example, your doctor may need to perform a cervical disc replacement instead. However, in feasible instances where they can treat the patient’s condition, your surgeon should prefer this choice over more traditional (and painful) methods.

Aside from simply being a minimally invasive procedure, there are more specific advantages associated with receiving a PCL:

  • Your surgeon will not need to remove spinal structures (like processes and pedicles)
  • This procedure typically does not require spinal fusion afterward
  • This is typically a less costly procedure than methods that use rods and screws
  • Safer than anterior (or frontal) approaches

Anterior approaches sometimes lead to complications such as dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) or dysphonia (difficulty speaking). As PCLs are performed from the back, they are inherently safer because of it. Lastly, as there is no need for the insertion of rods and screws, PCLs are often less expensive than spinal fusion procedures.

Eligibility Requirements for a Posterior Cervical Laminoplasty (PCL)

Eligibility for any surgical procedure varies widely based on the individual. Patients with symptoms of spinal compression and myelopathy will likely need to undergo additional tests. Other extreme symptoms that may require further evaluation include tingling in the arms, balance problems, and a loss of hand movement. In many cases, specialized tests such as x-ray imaging or MRI scans are necessary to explore possible treatment routes for the procedure. X-rays will provide your doctor with images of the bones within your spine. MRI scans are a bit more detailed in that they also show the soft structures in the spine, such as discs. Furthermore, an MRI can even reveal how much pressure other structures place on the spinal cord and nerves.

Your physician will also need to obtain an extensive medical history outlining the progression of your case as well as pre-existing conditions. Note that some pre-existing conditions may increase your risk of complication or nullify your candidacy for a PCL. For more information about your specific case, consult with your doctor. He or she will give you the guidance you need, providing the best treatment options for your specific needs.

If you have a debilitating spinal condition that is not improving with time, please contact us at (973) 538-0900. Our team of fellowship-trained, board-certified back specialists in NJ will ensure that your spinal stenosis treatment reflects your specific needs.