Laminoplasty for Cervical Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation in Patients With Cervical Spondylosis and Fusion: A Technical Note

Ochsner J. 2019 Spring;19(1):38-42. doi: 10.31486/toj.18.0096.


Background: Epidural spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implantation is a commonly used strategy for treating refractory neuropathic pain, but the literature on the technical aspects of cervical SCS surgery remains scarce. Degenerative cervical stenosis and prior fusion surgery are relatively frequent conditions in this population, and the optimal method for cervical lead placement among such patients has not been established. Decompressive laminectomy may be required for cervical SCS placement in the presence of spinal stenosis. However, extensive decompression may increase the rate of lead migration and destabilize the spine, especially when performed above an existing fusion. Case Series: We present a surgical technique for cervical SCS implantation and the cases of 3 patients with significant spinal stenosis and/or prior fusion. In these patients, the paddle lead placement was safely achieved using cervical laminoplasty techniques. Conclusion: In addition to stabilizing the epidural paddle lead, laminoplasty offers several potential advantages compared to decompression alone.

Keywords: Cervical vertebrae; laminoplasty; neuropathic pain; spinal cord stimulation; spinal stenosis; spondylosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports