Cervical spinal fusion is surgery that joins two or more of the vertebrae in your neck. When these bones are joined together, it's called fusion. After the joints are fused, they can no longer move.
During the surgery, the doctor uses bone to make a "bridge" between your vertebrae. This bridge is strengthened with metal plates and screws. In most cases, the doctor uses bone from another part of your body or bone that has been donated to a bone bank. But sometimes artificial bone is used.
To do the surgery, the doctor makes a cut in either the front or the back of your neck. The cut is called an incision. It leaves a scar that fades with time.
After surgery, you will stay in the hospital for a few days. Your neck will feel stiff or sore. You will get medicine to help with pain.
Most people can go back to work after 4 to 6 weeks. But it may take a few months to get back to all of your usual activities.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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