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What should patients know about cervical stenosis surgery?

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Patients should know cervical stenosis surgery is typically only performed if other approaches, including physical therapy, medications and chiropractic work, are unsuccessful, the University of Virginia School of Medicine reports. The surgery is performed either from the back (posterior laminectomy) or from the front (anterior cervical fusion).

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The type of cervical stenosis surgery performed strongly depends on the specifics of the patientメs condition, the North American Spine Society states. Relevant factors include the personメs general medical condition, the alignment of the neck spine, and the site of the nerve damage or spinal cord damage. Sometimes, performing surgery from both the front and back of the neck may be necessary.

Minimally invasive alternatives to posterior laminectomy and anterior cervical fusion include vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, the University of Virginia School of Medicine notes. Vertebroplasty relies on injecting orthopedic cement into the vertebra body, which fortifies the vertebra and alleviates the patientメs pain. Kyphoplasty involves inserting tiny balloons alongside the cement injection. This returns the spine to its healthy height and improves both functioning and appearance.

Cervical stenosis surgery is performed to relieve nerve pressure and spinal cord damage stemming from the spinal canal being too narrow to accommodate both nerve roots and the spinal cord, the University of Virginia School of Medicine explains. If the nerves are pressured, the condition is called radiculopathy, and if the spinal cord has become damaged, it is called myelopathy. If the same symptoms develop simultaneously, the condition is called myeloradiculopathy.

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