Home Care After Your Cervical Laminoplasty - Neurosurgery
A laminoplasty is a procedure that is done to take pressure off the spinal cord. You will have an incision from the back of your neck about six inches long. The neurosurgeon lifts the bones up off your spinal cord. Titanium mini-plates and bone grafts are then used to secure the bone after it is lifted up.
What to Expect after Surgery
You may need to wear a collar after surgery. It will help to keep your neck straight and prevent you from bending it forward or turning it side to side while the fusion is healing. You may need to wear the collar for several weeks. If your doctor orders a collar:
- You will be sent home with one collar that has an extra set of pads.
- You must wear your collar even during a shower or while bathing.
- The collar will fit snugly, but comfortably, around your neck. This prevents you from bending your chin to your chest and from turning your head side to side.
Do not drive while wearing the collar. You may drive when you no longer wear the collar and can move your head so as to drive safely. You cannot drive while taking narcotic pain pills.
Talk with your doctor about when you may return to. Most often, you will be off 2-8 weeks. This depends upon the nature of the work that you do.
What to Do for Constipation
You may begin taking a stool softener two days before surgery. Take docusate with senna with at least 8 ounces of water. This will prevent constipation caused by pain medicine. Do not take any fiber or stool softener on the morning of surgery.
When you are ready to go home, take docusate with senna twice a day while you are taking narcotic pain pills. If you do not have a bowel movement within two days or beyond your normal routine, take Milk of Magnesia®(6 teaspoons two to three times a day) until you have a bowel movement. You eat prunes or drink prune juice instead of taking Milk of Magnesia®. Be sure to drink several 8-ounce glasses of water or juice daily so that your body has enough fluids.
Things to Remember
- Be sure you are wearing your collar as instructed. Be aware of safety risks because your collar restricts neck movements and reduces visibility.
- Do not lift more than 10 pounds (about 1 gallon of milk) until you are told that you may lift more weight. Be conscious of how much things weigh.
- No pushing or pulling.
- No strenuous activities.
- Walking is good. Slowly increase the amount of walking you do.
After two weeks, you may resume your sex life as soon as you feel comfortable to do so.
You can expect to have quite a bit of muscular neck pain. You will be given narcotic pain medicine and muscle relaxants for your neck pain. Your neck pain will slowly improve. As your pain lessens, you can take plain or extra-strength Tylenol® to relieve your pain. All pain pills should be taken with food and at least 8 ounces of water. Do not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines for six (6) weeks. Taking these will slow the healing process
Examples: ibuprofen, Advil®, Aleve®, Naprosyn® or Naproxen®, aspirin, Celebrex®
Check with your doctor before taking any of these medicines. You should never start a new drug, even those you can buy over-the-counter, without talking with your doctor or pharmacist.
You may shower within three days. Please wear the collar while you shower until you are told that it is no longer needed. Keep your incision clean and dry. When you are in the shower, cover it with plastic wrap taped over it for the first 5 days. After bathing, gently pat dry with a clean towel. Please have your care provider clean the incision daily with mild soap and water. Keep your incision lightly covered with gauze to protect it from rubbing on your collar. If you have stitches, they will be left in place for about 2 to 3 weeks. If you have dissolvable sutures, your return to clinic will be in about 4 weeks.
Avoid being exposed to the sun. Do not use tanning beds.
Call your Doctor If You Notice Any Signs of Infection
- Increased redness, swelling, or any drainage
- Increased pain that does not go away with medicine
- Fever greater than 100° F (oral) for two readings taken 4 hours apart
Please call the Neurosurgery Clinic at 608-263-7502 with any questions.
After hours, nights, weekends and holidays, this number will connect you with the paging operator. Ask for the neurosurgery resident on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/11/2011
Copyright © 08/11/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5505
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