Minimally Invasive Cervical Spinal Fusion Surgery
At UVNN, our neurosurgeons are known for their trusted and exceptional care. Among the first in the area to implement intraoperative computer-assisted imaging in spinal fusion surgery, our leading approach to treatment results in lasting relief and faster recovery for our patients.
UVNN is an award-winning spinal care practice, having received the highest accolades from US News and World Report for extraordinary patient care. Our surgeons continue to revolutionize spine care through advanced surgical techniques and cutting-edge research.
What is Cervical Spinal Fusion Surgery?
Cervical spinal fusion surgery at UVNN is a minimally invasive procedure that connects selected bones of your spine (neck) to alleviate chronic pain, address nerve compression caused by cervical spondylosis or trauma, and stabilize the spine. For those suffering from degenerative disk disease and spinal stenosis, surgery can be a viable solution. The surgery is commonly performed on a single level between two adjacent vertebrae but may span more than one level if needed.
UVNN performs two types of cervical spinal fusion surgeries. Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) and Posterior Cervical Spinal Fusion. The type of surgery a patient receives is based on the approach required to reach and treat the spine.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion (ACDF): An incision is made from the front of the spine (or neck) to access the cervical spine. The surgeon may remove any damaged discs or vertebrae and then fuse the remaining bones together using bone grafts.
Posterior Cervical Spinal Fusion: An incision is made from the back of the spine (or neck) to access the cervical spine. The surgeon may place bone grafts between the vertebrae which will eventually grow and fuse the vertebrae together after removing troubled or damaged vertebrae.
Symptoms of Cervical Spine Disorders:
- Pain and/or numbness in the neck, shoulder, arms, and legs.
- Muscle weakness in the arms or legs
- Cervical spinal instability or deformity
- Weakened sensation in the hands and/or feet
- Vision issues such as abnormal eye movements and/or double vision
- Problems swallowing or other throat abnormalities
- Voice and speech difficulty like hoarseness or slurred speech
- Issues with or loss of coordination.
- Urinary urgency
Causes of Cervical Spine Disorders:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
Cervical Spinal Fusion Surgery: What to Expect
This type of surgery is minimally invasive and requires only small incision to gain access to the cervical spine. During surgery, the surgeon will eliminate any deteriorated discs or vertebrae before fusing together the remaining bones. This procedure results in a secure joint with increased stability.
If bone grafts are necessary the surgeon will place them between the vertebrae to encourage natural bone growth and the eventual fusing of your spine.
Post Operative Spinal Fusion Care
Following surgery, patients will be brought to a recovery room where they will be monitored by the post-operative team. Many patients are discharged and will return home on the same day of surgery.
It’s important to take it slow and listen to your doctor’s instructions. It can take several months to fully recover and we encourage patients to take it easy and commit to their post surgical care plan in order to regain strength and recover as quickly as possible. Post operative care may include physical therapy.
Risks and Complications
Risks exist with any surgical procedure; however, complications are rare. Our patient care team is here to ensure that risks are minimized by informed patients about the proper post operative care to ensure their recovery.
Risks may include:
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Persistent pain
- Hardware failure
- Unsuccessful Fusion