Neck pain is difficult to live with, and it can be even more difficult to treat. Luckily, the knowledgeable surgeons at IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics can offer a solution. At any of our offices throughout New Jersey and New York, you can discover whether posterior cervical fusion surgery, which fuses two or more cervical bones into one, is right for you.
The spine is surrounded by soft tissues like tendons, ligaments, muscles, bundles of nerves on their way to the brain, and large veins and arteries traveling to and from the heart. This makes the spine difficult to operate on without damaging tissue. At IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics, we use the most cutting-edge technology to reduce tissue disruption for shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery.
What Is Posterior Cervical Fusion Surgery?
Posterior cervical fusion (PCF) surgery aims to promote the fusing of affected vertebrae into one singular bone. The procedure helps to stabilize and strengthen fractured vertebrae and is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. The patient may also be given a ventilator to assist with breathing during the procedure. PCF surgery follows these steps:
- 1. The surgeon begins by making a small incision in the back of the neck.
- 2. Muscles are gently moved to the side, where they are held in place by a tubular contractor.
- 3. The surgeon removes the bony covering of the spine (lamina) and any disc material that’s affected by the injury or condition.
- 4. A light bone graft is placed alongside the vertebrae to encourage them to fuse. The bone graft may be taken from the patient’s own bone or a synthetic source.
- 5. Finally, small screws and additional bone grafting material are inserted to provide stability and correct deformities.
In all, the surgery takes up to four hours to complete. Most patients can go home within five days and may return to light work in as soon as two to four weeks. For a few months, however, patients will need to avoid heavy lifting, excessive bending or twisting, and laborious work. Patients may also be required to wear a neck brace to reduce stress and pain during recovery.
When to Consider PCF Surgery
PCF is designed to treat conditions that destabilize the spine. By fusing the unstable areas, the neurosurgeon can prevent the problem from getting worse or causing damage to the spinal cord. The procedure may be used to treat the following conditions:
- Spinal damage: This includes fractures or deterioration caused by an injury, infection, or tumor.
- Degenerative disc disease (DDD): This condition is characterized by the natural deterioration of spinal discs, and as the body ages, it results in loss of flexibility in the neck and back.
- Herniated discs: These happen when the soft center of a disc leaks through a crack in the vertebrae, putting pressure on the nerves within the spinal cord.
- Spinal stenosis: This is when a narrowing of the spinal canal places pressure on the spinal cord.
- Spondylolisthesis: When this occurs, one vertebra has slipped forward over the other.
Leaders in Advanced Spine Treatment
PCF surgery is designed to treat conditions after more conservative treatments have failed. If you are experiencing neck or back pain that requires surgery, schedule an appointment with IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics. We’re an award-winning treatment provider that promises cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art facilities, and compassionate, high-quality care. To learn more about receiving PCF surgery in the tri-state area, contact us today.