The patient is given a general anesthesia and is positioned to give the surgeon access to the rear of the neck. The surgeon makes an incision of about three to four inches long. The surgeon dissects the neck muscles and tissues to expose the back portion of the vertebrae, called the lamina.
Groove cut on one side
Once the lamina is exposed, the surgeon cuts a groove on one side of cervical vertebrae to create a hinge.
Cutting of bones on the other side
The surgeon cuts the other side of the cervical vertebrae all the way through. The surgeon then cuts the tips of the spinous processes so that enough room is created for the bones to swing open like a door.
Opening back of vertebrae
The rear of the vertebrae is then opened by the surgeon to take pressure off the nerve roots and spinal cord.
Placing bone wedges
The surgeon places small wedges made of the bone in the open gap. The bone “door” is then closed by the surgeon. The wedges prevent it from closing completely. Spinal cord and the root nerves rest comfortably.
The muscles and soft tissues are then put back in their places by the surgeon. The wound is closed by stitching the skin together. The wound is cleaned and the bandage is applied.