Anterior Cervical Fusion
Anterior Cervical Fusion is a surgical procedure in which a degenerative disc is replaced with a spacer and bone products to weld the adjacent bones together.
Cervical and Lumbar discs can break down for a number of reasons, including injury, or natural breakdown as the body ages.
Who can Benefit from Anterior Cervical Fusion?
Candidates for fusion surgery usually have some combination of the following symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Pain between the shoulder blades
- Arm pain or weakness
- Changes in gait
- Difficulty walking
Anterior Cervical Fusion can help patients who are not candidates for cervical foraminotomy, cervical laminectomy, or cervical total disc replacement. For many conditions, anterior spinal fusion is an excellent option and can result in dramatic improvement in pain symptoms and quality of life.
Neck Fusion Procedure
The cervical spine is exposed through an anterior (front) incision and the target disc is marked using imaging.Using specialized tools the degenerated or injured disc is removed completely.Trial spacers are placed to achieve the exact right fit for the actual spacer.The spacer is then filled with bone products and is inserted using specialized delivery devices to achieve the perfect fit.An appropriately sized plate is then chosen and screws are placed in the bones, which are being fused. Final x-rays are taken to confirm proper placement.
The incision is closed with absorbable stitches and the patient is brought to the recovery area. Anterior cervical fusion generally takes one hour per level performed. After completing the surgery patient will usually spend one night in the hospital, but for one or two level surgery can sometimes be discharged home as an outpatient.
Patients who undergo anterior cervical surgery can often return to light activities within a few weeks, but this can vary depending on the individual patient, number of levels treated, and other factors. Recovery will include rest, physical therapy, and a short course of pain management medication.
If you are experiencing neck and arm pain, an anterior cervical fusion may be the best option for you. Contact us at Midwest Spine & Brain Institute to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.1.800.3353.7720 or ‘click here’.
Posterior Cervical Fusion
Posterior Cervical Fusion is a surgical procedure in which screws, rods, and bone graft are used to weld adjacent bones together and stop motion.This is often combined with cervical foraminotomy or laminectomy to decompress affected nerves or the spinal cord.
Who can Benefit from Posterior Cervical Fusion?
Candidates for fusion surgery generally have neck pain, arm pain, and difficulty walking. Posterior fusion with laminectomy is often chosen in patients who have spinal cord compression over multiple levels. Posterior spinal fusion is also chosen as an addition to anterior spinal fusion if three or more levels require surgical fusion. For many conditions, posterior spinal fusion is an excellent option and can result in dramatic improvement in pain symptoms and quality of life.
General Procedure - Cervical Fusion
The cervical spine is exposed through a posterior (back) incision and the target level is marked using imaging. Some combination of screws, hooks and rods are placed in the bones that are being fused. X-rays are taken to confirm proper placement.A cervical laminectomy to relieve compression of the spinal cord or cervical foraminotomy to relive nerve root compression can be done at this time. The incision is closed with absorbable stitches and/or staples and the patient is brought to the recovery area.After completing the surgery patient will usually spend two to three nights in the hospital.
Find more detailed information on what to expect during surgery here.
Patients who posterior cervical surgery can often return to light activities within a few weeks, but this can vary depending on the individual patient, number of levels treated and other factors. Rest, physical therapy, and a course of pain management medication will all be included in the recovery period.
To learn more about posterior cervical fusion and determine whether you are a candidate for this procedure, contact us at Midwest Spine & Brain Institute in Edina at 1.800.3353.7720 or ‘click here’ to schedule an appointment.