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Mark A. Wolgin, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon

Specialist (Fellowship Trained) in Spinal and Foot/Ankle Surgery, Albany, GA, Office Phone 229-883-4707

About Me
Spine Anatomy
Spine Disorders
Non Surgical Treatments
Surgical Treatments
Anter Cerv Discect & Fus
Anter Lumbar Fusion
Cervical Disc Replacement
Coflex Interlam Device
Direct Lateral Fusion
InterSpinous Proc Device
LumboSacral Fus: AxiaLIF
Minimally Invasive Surg
Min Invasive Lumbar Fusio
Min Invasive Fusion pg 2
Min Invasive Fusion pg 3
Min Invasive case example
Posterior Lumbar Fusion
Risks of Surgery
Spinous Process Clamp
Pain Management
General Orthopaedics
Weight Loss
Frequently Asked Question
Patient Forms
Medical Economics
Insurance Denials
Contact Info
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Laminoplasty is a procedure done to open the space for the spinal cord from the posterior (back) of the neck.
Part of the degerative process involves formation of bone spurs which can compress the spinal cord. 
Spinal cord dysfunction is referred to as myelopathy, and symptoms can include problems with balance and walking, bowel and bladder control, and weakness of the arms and legs.
In this cross section from a CT scan, the large bone spur can be seen.  This scan is from a myelogram, where dye was injected in the spinal fluid.  A thin rim of a light gray (the dye) can be seen around the darker shadow of the spinal cord.
A schematic of this condition is shown below.
Sometimes, as part of a degenerative process in the neck, the spinal cord is compressed.  While the decompression is often done through the front of the neck to directly remove the compressing bone spur, on certain occasions, it is more appropriate to do the decompression from the back.
In this image, which is from a CT scan after a laminoplasty (different patient than illustrated above) shows that there is more room for the spinal cord.  In this case, no small plate or screws were used to keep the door open.
If a laminoplasty is done, the surgical approach, which is from the back, can be more painful since more muscles are removed from their attachments to the bone (strong pain medicines are given to help control the pain), but fusion of the spinal segments can be avoided.