Neck and back pain caused by injury or structural deterioration can be painful and debilitating. In such instances, cervical fusion may offer relief.
What Is Cervical Fusion?
This medical procedure is performed by joining (fusing) together specific bones within the spine's cervical region. The surgery is a therapeutic protocol for numerous health conditions impacting the spine that cause pain and mobility issues in stricken individuals. The materials used to fuse the bones in question are typically made from other bony bodily structures or can be grafted (transplanted) from bones donated to a bone bank.
What Conditions Might Necessitate Cervical Fusion?
Cervical Fusion might be indicated as a form of treatment for an individual diagnosed with any one of these cervical spine maladies:
- Spinal Stenosis: This condition occurs when the open spaces within the spine begin to close. Such action can put pressure on specific nerves, resulting in symptoms like pain, numbness in the neck and arms and, if the condition is advanced, might pose immobility problems.
- Cervical Bone Spurs: A bone spur occurs when a small abnormality develops atop a bone. The buildup of calcium deposits is often the culprit for this ailment. On other occasions, arthritis may also cause this problem. If the bones spur continues to expand, the anomaly can impact surrounding structures, typically resulting in potentially severe pain.
- Herniated Cervical Discs: This malady happens when a disc ruptures and the fluid-like substance contained inside the structure spills out onto surrounding tissues and nerves. The impact upon the nerves can precipitate pain and numbness, particularly in the afflicted person's arms.
- Bulging Cervical Discs: A bulging disc may press against spinal nerves. This occurrence often results in manifestations such as pain, in addition to tingling and numbness in the affected individual's arms and hands.
One of the more common forms of cervical spinal surgery is known as Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF). This procedure is a two-tiered operation that begins with a surgeon making an incision through the front of the recipient's neck and removing the damaged disc(s) and tissues. Surgeons carefully withdraw the degenerated disc by sliding it between two vertebrae. Once the disc is extracted, the space now vacated by the disc is filled with grafted or implanted bone as a means of providing a stable base for the impacted vertebrae.
Advantages Of This Procedure
Doctors opine that this operation is less invasive than previous cervical spine procedures and results in less post-operative pain for the recipient.
The Recovery Period
Recovery time often depends upon several factors including the specific condition and severity of said issue that precipitated the surgery, as well as the recipient's general physical health. In most instances, individuals enter physical therapy about a month after the procedure, and therapeutic regimens are typically required for two to three months.
How Can Treasure Valley Hospital Help?
Treasure Valley Hospital is one of the top Neurosurgery facilities in all of Idaho. Our team of surgeons have a wealth of experience performing cervical fusions with high success rates. Treasure Valley Hospital’s surgical team will provide the best quality care for the lowest cost. For more information, please visit the Neurosurgery page.