Spinal fusion, commonly used to treat conditions such as spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and more, is conventional spine surgery that combines two or more vertebrae. It is a more traditional form of surgery that involves the use of micro-instruments such as rods and screws in order to not only assist the surgeon with the procedure, but to help the patient heal faster once the surgery is finished.
Posterior cervical spine fusion may be performed for one of three reasons. It may be performed to stop motion between two or more vertebra at specific spinal segments. This stopped motion helps to alleviate pain generated by herniated or diseased discs. It may also be performed in order to straighten a patient’s cervical spine, and in doing so, preventing the progression of a spinal deformity. Finally, a posterior cervical spine fusion may be done in order to help the stabilization of the cervical spine after an unexpected fracture or dislocation. Regardless of the reason, a surgeon will generally remove the damaged disc material and then insert bone graft to stop motion at the damaged location. The graft generates new bone that fuses the vertebrae together.
Posterior Cervical Spine Fusion is done through an incision on the back of the neck. Surgeons might prefer this approach when the large, soft disc herniation is found to the side of the spinal cord. Sometimes, PCF is performed along with a posterior decompression, where the paraspinal muscles are raised off the spinal level that is to be approached for the spinal fusion surgery. Patients that undertake this surgery are usually able to go home three to five days after the surgery, after receiving instruction from a physical or occupational therapist.
Every patient is different when it comes to which spinal surgery or procedure would be the best choice for relieving back pain. If you are in the New Jersey area and looking for an expert diagnosis for your back pain, contact the Spine Institute. Doctor Marc Cohen and his medical team focus specifically on the spine, working towards helping you find the best solution for your back pain.