Cervical (Neck)

Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion

Anterior cervical discectomy with fusion is a surgical procedure that involves relieving the pressure placed on nerve roots and/or the spinal cord by a herniated disc or bone spurs in the neck.

Cervical refers to the 7 vertebrae of the neck. Discs are the spongy, cartilaginous pads between each pair of vertebrae, and ectomy means “to take out”. In a cervical discectomy, the surgeon accesses the cervical spine through a small incision in the neck and removes all or part of the disc - and/or in some cases boney spurs (osteophytes) which have been pressing on the nerves and causing pain.

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Cervical Disc Arthroplasty (Artificial Disc Replacement)

Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery is a joint replacement procedure that involves inserting an artificial disc between the vertebrae to replace a natural spinal disc after it has been removed.

A cervical artificial disc is a prosthetic device designed to maintain motion in the treated vertebral segment. A cervical artificial disc essentially functions like a joint, allowing for flexion, extension, side bending and rotation. Some newer discs are compressible, and actually function like shock-absorbers, as do natural discs.

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Minimally Invasive Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy

Cervical foraminotomy is a surgical procedure done to relieve the symptoms of a pinched nerve by enlarging the neural foramen, and it can be performed in a minimally invasive way.

The neural foramen is the opening by means of which a nerve root exits the spine to travel to skin, muscle and other tissues which it supplies. Herniated discs, bone spurs and thickened ligaments or joints can all cause narrowing of the neural foramen and cause painful symptoms.

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An anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion is a surgical procedure in which vertebral bone and intervertebral disc material is removed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves in the cervical spine.

The term corpectomy is derived from the Latin words corpus (body) and -ectomy (removal). Removal of one or more vertebral bodies is sometimes necessary if the spinal cord and/or exiting spinal nerves are being compressed by disc and bone which cannot be removed merely by removing the disc(s). The procedure involves accessing the cervical spine through a frontal approach. Spinal fusion is usually necessary because of the amount of vertebral bone and/or disc material that must be removed to achieve sufficient decompression of the neural structures.

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What Is A Cervical Laminoplasty?

A cervical laminoplasty is a spine surgery that involves reshaping/repositioning bone to relieve excess pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the cervical spine, or neck. The name of the procedure is derived from the Latin word lamina (thin plate, sheet or layer), and the Greek term plastos (to mold). A laminoplasty differs from a laminectomy in that the lamina is repositioned rather than removed.

Dr. Brazenor rarely recommends this procedure.

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Posterior Cervical Fusion

What is the Rationale Behind Posterior Cervical Fusion?

The posterior cervical fusion is performed through an incision in the back of the neck. A posterior cervical fusion is used to stop the motion between two or more vertebrae. It is commonly used to prevent spinal deformity from developing after a large decompression; to rectify a spinal deformity; or to stabilize the spine after a fracture or dislocation of the cervical spine.

What is the Procedure of Posterior Cervical Fusion?

This surgery is done through the back of the neck. After the surgeon has excised any bone, tumour or disc fragments which may be compressing the spinal cord and/or the exiting nerve roots, screws are then introduced into the outer parts of the vertebrae from behind, and linked by rods which correct spinal deformity or prevent deformity or instability occurring. Bone graft is then placed on the back surface of the problem vertebrae. During the healing process, the vertebrae grow together, creating a solid piece of bone. This is called a posterior instrumented fusion (see next section).

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As you prepare yourself mentally to undergo spinal surgery, you also need to prepare yourself for the recovery period that will follow your operation. While the surgery entails work on the part of the surgeon, after surgery the brunt of the work is in your hands, and you will be guided as to what is required. To ensure a smooth and healthy recovery, it is important that you closely follow the set of instructions that your surgical team gives you.

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