When you have disabling neck pain and there's no change after months of treatment, it might be time to consider a surgical option like cervical fusion. The experienced neurosurgery team at Apex Spine and Neurosurgery in Alpharetta, Bethlehem, Columbus, and Suwanee, Georgia, specializes in using minimally invasive procedures, including anterior cervical disc fusion (ACDF), to resolve the pain caused by conditions like cervical disc disease. Call Apex Spine and Neurosurgery today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online.
Cervical fusion is a procedure during which the Apex Spine and Neurosurgery team fuses the vertebrae in your neck (cervical spine). It's a procedure you might require if you have severe neck pain or functional problems due to a condition like cervical disc disease.
This form of surgery is called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).
If you have cervical disc disease and can't find a treatment that works, cervical fusion could be the answer.
Most people who have neck pain due to problems with their discs find a combination of medication, rest, and physical therapy works well in relieving their discomfort. When these methods don't resolve neck pain, there are other options, such as epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks to further reduce inflammation and pain.
For a few patients, none of these more conservative treatment options provides them with the relief they need. If you're one of them, your surgeon at Apex Spine and Neurosurgery can discuss the surgical options with you.
The first stage of the cervical fusion process is decompression. Your surgeon removes the damaged disc from between the vertebrae and checks for other problems, such as bone spurs, that could be contributing to your pain.
After completing the decompression stage, your surgeon inserts a bone graft into the space left by the disc and secures it in place. The bone graft grows into the existing vertebrae, eventually forming a stable fusion between the two bones.
This procedure is called single-level cervical fusion. It's also possible for your surgeon at Apex Spine and Neurosurgery to perform multi-level cervical fusion, where they fuse two or more sets of vertebrae.
The degree of movement in your neck following cervical fusion can vary depending on which vertebrae your surgeon fuses and whether you have a single or multi-level fusion.
The two vertebrae that successfully fuse together no longer have any movement at all. However, the vertebrae above and below retain their ability to move, and in some cases, can move a little more freely after cervical fusion addresses the disc problem.
Multi-level cervical fusion is likely to cause a more significant loss of mobility. You can discuss with your surgeon the pros and cons of choosing cervical fusion at length before making a decision.
You might also want to consider artificial disc replacement instead of cervical fusion if your surgeon believes you're a good candidate.
To find out more, call Apex Spine and Neurosurgery today, or book an appointment online.
Fax Number for all locations: (678) 963-5307