Cervical fusion surgery is a procedure performed in the cervical area of the spine to relieve pressure on one or more nerve roots, or on the spinal cord. The spine surgeon permanently fuses together the affected cervical vertebrae so that they heal together into a single, solid bone. The goals of cervical fusion surgery are to restore nerve function, relieve pain, numbness, tingling and weakness, and prevent abnormal motion in the spine.
Anterior Cervical Fusion Surgery
This is the most commonly used type of cervical spine surgery. It is often used in conjunction with an anterior cervical discectomy, the surgical removal of damaged disc(s). Your spine surgeon reaches your cervical spine through a small incision in the front (anterior) of your neck. After the soft tissues of the neck are separated, the damaged intervertebral disc(s) and bone spurs are removed. A bone graft is then placed between the vertebrae to fuse them together and recover spinal stability. The bone graft may be a piece of bone from your own pelvic bone or from a donor bone from a bone bank.
After Cervical Fusion Surgery
Most patients spend three to five days in the hospital after cervical fusion surgery. During your hospital stay, a physical therapist will work with you on proper techniques for daily activities. You may use a neck brace to reduce stress and promote healing. You may be able to return to work as soon as two weeks after surgery. Studies show that up to 95% of patients experience good or excellent results from cervical fusion surgery.
Conditions Treated with Cervical Fusion Surgery
Most neck and arm pain are caused by degeneration in the cervical area of the spine. The discs and joints between each vertebra are most commonly affected by the following conditions:
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Spine Services in New York performs cervical fusion surgery as well as a broad range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for conditions that affect the spine.
The Rehabilitation Network of the North Shore-LIJ Health System is dedicated to providing you and your family with result-oriented, comprehensive rehabilitation services. Our goal is to help you and your loved ones find relief from pain and get moving again after an accident, illness, injury or surgery. We’re your partner in a safe, healthy, more rapid recovery.