Information about fusion procedures for cervical spine injury treatment
Patients dealing with a cervical spine injury may be recommended to undergo fusion surgery if conservative treatments are unable to relieve symptoms enough to comfortably engage in normal activities. If you have chronic neck pain due to trauma, overuse, a degenerative condition or other causes, you should consider all of your options before deciding on any type of surgery. The following information about both traditional and minimally invasive fusion procedures can help you be more engaged as a patient and make an informed decision about your care.
Traditional open spine fusion
Fusion of the spine is extremely involved and invasive surgery when performed as a traditional open spine procedure. A surgeon will access your cervical spine either through the front of the neck or posteriorly through the back. The surgeon will remove all or part of a damaged disc, and the disc space is filled with bone grafts. Ideally, the grafted bone will fuse with the existing vertebrae over a period of time, thus stabilizing that section of the spine.
While this can be an effective way to stabilize the spine and relieve pain, traditional open spine fusions do involve significant risks and difficulties, including:
- A large incision that disrupts surrounding muscles
- Overnight hospitalization
- Risk of complications such as infection, fusion failure or scarring
- A long, sometimes difficult, recovery period
Minimally invasive stabilization at Laser Spine Institute
As a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine fusion procedures, the highly skilled surgeons at Laser Spine Institute perform minimally invasive stabilization surgery that can treat cervical spine injuries. By using muscle-sparing techniques involving direct visualization technology and dilating tubes to access the spine, we are able to access the affected area of the spine through a smaller incision. This results in a number of benefits, including less risk of complication, compared to traditional open spine fusion.