When conventional medical treatments fail to improve your neck pain or symptoms such as pain that radiates down your arm, it may be time to consider a cervical fusion. The experienced team at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group in Fresno, California, thoroughly evaluates your neck and determines if a cervical fusion can relieve your symptoms. To learn if you’re a good candidate for this procedure, call today or schedule an appointment online.
Cervical fusion is a surgical procedure to connect two adjacent vertebrae in your neck. Fusing the vertebrae alleviates pain by stopping movement between the two bones. The procedure also restores strength and stability to that segment of your neck.
A fusion may affect your neck’s overall range of motion if more than two vertebrae are fused. However, a multilevel cervical fusion seldom restricts movement enough to affect your ability to perform daily activities.
Treatment for most neck problems begins with conservative therapies such as immobilization, activity modification, and structured exercises or physical therapy.
When you still have pain and other symptoms despite conservative care, your provider at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group may talk with you about a cervical fusion, either alone or together with surgery to repair the underlying problem.
You may need a cervical fusion to treat conditions such as:
Most of these conditions need a surgical procedure that targets the problem, with a fusion performed afterward. For example, a discectomy to remove a herniated disc and a decompression procedure are often followed by a cervical fusion to restore stability.
During a cervical fusion, your doctor removes the existing disc and inserts a bone graft between the vertebrae. The purpose of a graft is to accelerate new bone growth. As the two vertebrae grow bone over the graft and toward one another, they gradually fuse into one solid bone.
Your bone graft may come from a donor bank, or it could be harvested from another bone in your body. In many cases, the team at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group uses a synthetic spinal fusion cage.
The cage-like structure, which is the same size as your original disc, is filled with substances that promote bone growth. It’s also made from biocompatible material, so it can safely become part of your fused vertebrae.
The team at Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group can perform most cervical fusions using minimally invasive spine surgery. This type of surgery causes less pain and promotes a faster recovery because it’s done using a small incision.
If you have symptoms such as neck pain and stiffness, or you need to schedule a cervical fusion, call Neurosurgical Associates Medical Group or use the online booking system.