The pain just won’t go away.
It’s starts around your neck and spreads down your back. Your Signature Medical Group orthopedic specialist examines you and finds you need cervical spinal fusion.
Don’t be alarmed. It’s a common procedure.
Cervical spinal fusion is a surgery that joins selected bones in the neck. It can be done through an incision on the front or back of the neck.
Webmd.com lists several reasons for the surgery:
- After an injury, to stabilize the neck and prevent a bone fracture from causing instability or damage to the spinal cord, which may result in paralysis.
- To treat conditions such as misalignment of the vertebrae.
- As a follow-up procedure to treat spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, an infection, tumors, or spinal deformities.
This surgery usually requires a short stay in the hospital. You may need to wear a brace on your neck (cervical collar) during recovery, Webmd.com says. Recovery times can vary widely. Some patients can return to work in a few days. Others may start therapy in a few weeks and continue for two or three months.
The success of a spine fusion over time requires that the patient participate in a long-term self-directed exercise program, spine-health.com says. More specialized physical therapy may be done in situations requiring a return to work.