The decision to undergo neck surgery should not be taken lightly and it’s important that you talk to your physician about trying a variety of conservative, non-invasive treatments before considering surgery. While procedures like spinal fusion or artificial disc replacement can be effective at relieving the pain of a degenerative spine condition, they come with risks that you should be aware of.
Cervical spinal fusion is generally the most common neck surgery. The surgeon usually accesses the cervical spine anteriorly, which means through an incision in the front of the neck. A discectomy may be performed, during which the damaged intervertebral disc that is causing nerve compression is removed. A cage containing morselized bone graft (usually taken from the patient’s iliac crest) is inserted into the disc space and stabilizing rods and screws are used to secure the graft and the adjacent vertebrae in place. The aim of cervical spinal fusion is to immobilize a section of the spine by fusing two vertebrae together into a solid segment of bone, prevent deformity, and open up the cervical canal space so that spinal nerves can pass unimpeded.
As with any surgery, risks are involved. Hospitalization are required. An initial bone graft harvesting surgery is required if the patient chooses to use an autograft. Dissection of muscles and ligaments may be required and there is always the question of whether the patient’s body will accept the graft and facilitate the fusion process.
If your cervical spine pain has become chronic despite conservative treatments and the risks of cervical fusion are deterring you from finding lasting pain relief, Laser Spine Institute Philadelphia may be able to help. Our minimally invasive procedures are the more effective alternative to open neck or back surgery. Contact any Laser Spine Institute Philadelphia or any of our nationwide surgical centers for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan.
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