Cervical spine surgery 1

Cervical spine surgery

Cervical spine surgery is generally performed on an elective basis to treat either:

The two actions are often combined, as a decompression may de-stabilize the spine and generate the need for a fusion to add solidity. Spinal instrumentation can also be used to help add stability to the spinal construct.

Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy and Microdissection

This is a procedure performed at the back your neck; makes a small incision in the midline of your neck and performs a plainly invasive muscle dissection to expose the level of where your nerve or spinal cord is compressed. This operation involves creating a window between two vertebrae. The foraminotomy is made over a nerve root to alleviate pressure on your nerve. The nerve may be trapped by bone overgrowth or spurs or there may be a disc protrusion which is pressing on the nerve. Foraminotomy can be done with an endoscope or a microscope. If the disc fragment is detached this process is called a microdiscectomy.

Cervical Spine Surgery Approaches

The cervical spine can either be approached from the front or from the back. In general, where possible, most surgeons favor an anterior approach for most situations. An anterior approach results in less disruption of the usual musculature and is also easier to maintain the usual alignment of the spine.

Surgery for cervical disc disease generally involves one of three operations:

  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and artificial disc replacement
  • Posterior cervical foraminotomy and microdiscectomy

Risks of cervical spine surgery

There is the risk with any surgery. Plainly cutting the skin exposes the body to infection and bleeding. The more complicated the operation, the greater the risk.

For all surgery, risks contain the infection and post-operative bleeding. While bleeding during an operation can be a problem in major surgery, the bigger risk lies after surgery when bleeding can recommence. While infection or bleeding complications do not mean your surgery has failed, but if they happen it could mean you need another operation, sometimes urgently. There is also a risk of death or paralysis with any brain or spinal operation, but this is extremely rare.

Risks of cervical spine surgery

There is a risk with any surgery. Plainly cutting the skin exposes the body to infection and bleeding. The more complicated the operation, the greater the risk.

For all surgery, risks contain the infection and post-operative bleeding. While bleeding during an operation can be a problem in major surgery, the bigger risk lies after surgery when bleeding can recommence. While infection or bleeding complications do not mean your surgery has failed, but if they happen it could mean you need another operation, sometimes urgently. There is also a risk of death or paralysis with any brain or spinal operation, but this is extremely rare.