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Posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion may be performed to remove pressure (decompress) the spinal cord, nerve roots and stabilize the neck (fusion).

Posterior = back

The surgical incision is made in the back of the neck.

Cervical = neck

The cervical levels are one region of the spine. There are seven vertebral bodies in the neck; numbered C1 (top) through C7 (bottom). The disc levels are also abbreviated. For example, C3-C4 refers to the intervertebral disc between the third and fourth cervical vertebral bodies (bones).

Laminectomy = to remove the lamina

The lamina is a thin plate of bone at the back of the neck that makes up the roof of the spine and helps to protect the spinal cord. During Dr. Stieber's NYC laminectomy, the bony plate is removed to allow him access to the spinal cord and other nerve structures.

Fusion = to join or combine

Bone graft is inserted into the empty space between the upper and lower vertebral bodies. Instrumentation (rods and screws) is implanted to immobilize (stabilize) the neck. The body’s natural healing processes cause new bone to grow into and around the instrumentation resulting in a spinal fusion.

Not every patient with a cervical degenerative disc problem, herniation or spinal stenosis requires spine surgery. Dr. Stieber may recommend posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion for the following reasons: if non-operative treatment fails to relieve symptoms, progressive worsening of neurologic symptoms or pain, spinal instability, and/or neurological problems. Numbness, loss of function, and weakness are examples of neurologic dysfunction. Loss of manual dexterity, difficulty with fine motor movements, and disruption of walking balance may be signs of myelopathy and signal dangerous compression of the spinal cord within the spine.

About Posterior Cervical Laminectomy and Fusion

Posterior cervical laminectomy and fusion is performed under general anesthesia. The neck is shaved, cleansed and prepared for surgery. The patient is positioned face down (prone) on the operating table. The patient’s skull is held securely in position and neck immobilized by means of a device made for this purpose. A special monitoring system checks the spinal cord and nerve function throughout the procedure to prevent injury. Fluoroscopy, a type of real time x-ray is used throughout the surgery to see the patient’s anatomy and guide instruments.

A skin incision is made in the middle of the back of the neck (a midline incision). Muscles and other soft tissues are moved away from the spine. Special surgical instruments are used to carefully remove the lamina and remove tissue and bone compressing the spinal cord and nerve structures. The lamina and other bone removed may be prepared and used for bone graft. Rods, screws and bone graft are implanted to stabilize the neck and to facilitate fusion and healing.

After Surgery

After surgery, the patient is moved into the recovery area. In recovery, nurses and other members of the NYC medical team closely monitor the patient’s vital signs – pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and pain. Some post-operative pain should be expected and patients receive pain medication either through their IV (intravenous line) or by mouth.

  • A post-operative cervical brace, collar or halo is prescribed to wear for a time period after surgery to help immobilize and support the neck while healing.
  • A typical hospital stay is 2 to 3 days. Dr. Stieber discusses hospitalization with patients before their surgery date.
Posterior Cervical Laminectomy and Fusion

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Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

Dear Patients:

Our patients' health and safety is our number one priority. Our office continues to be open for all email, telephone, and online inquiries. You can call us at 646-916-3962 or contact us via email to schedule your virtual telemedicine or in-person visit. Our doctors will be holding regular office hours for virtual video consultations and follow-up visits that permit you to stay in the comfort of your own home, utilizing your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Additionally, we will continue to see select patients in the office for consultation and follow-up visits, including preoperative and postoperative appointments. Our doctors continue to perform procedures in our private, free-standing surgery center that offers an array of outpatient surgical services to treat spinal issues such as acute back pain, disc herniations, sciatica, and pinched nerves in the back or neck. We are also able to offer clean and efficient on-site x-ray capabilities in our office.

Please know that we join our community in taking all advised precautions* to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Call today to schedule a consultation and explore your options with the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan.

The following precautionary measures have been established to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • All patients are screened both prior to and on the day of their office appointment. Patients will not be permitted in the office and will be asked to reschedule their appointment if:
    • You or anyone in your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
    • You have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus or have traveled (both domestically and internationally) within the last 14 days.
  • We have updated our patient and visitor policies:
    • Only a limited number of patients will be permitted on the office hour schedule.
    • No additional visitors or family members are allowed to accompany the patient during their office visit, unless the patient is in need of an aide or a translator
    • Infants, children, and adolescents are asked to stay home and will not be permitted to accompany the patient to their appointment.

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