How a posterior cervical fusion can treat myelopathy

Suffering from cervical myelopathy — which is a disorder caused by compression of the upper spinal cord — takes you away from the people you love and your favorite activities. If you’ve been through round after round of conservative treatments without finding the relief you’re looking for, it’s easy to become discouraged, especially if you’re anxious at the prospect of an invasive, traditional open spine surgery.

Knowing about the full range of surgical options is an important part of searching for the right treatment. For example, advances in medical technology and surgical training have made a less invasive approach to surgery possible with many advantages over traditional open back procedures.

Traditional surgical treatments for myelopathy

Traditional open spine surgery is highly invasive because the surgeon needs to make a large incision to access the spine. This means cutting through important muscles and connective tissue, which results in a long recovery time, scarring and pain after surgery.

Once the spine is accessed, the surgeon’s goal is to take pressure off the spinal cord by removing the tissue, such as herniated disc material, that is compressing it. Fusion procedures can be required when the disc is too damaged to stabilize the spine and must be completely removed. In its place, bone grafts and stabilizing implants are inserted, which fuse together the vertebrae. The tradeoff is usually reduced range of motion in that part of the spine.

Benefits of a minimally invasive cervical fusion

As a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine fusion procedures, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery, including a posterior cervical fusion.^ This procedure is performed through a small incision on the back of the neck and uses direct visualization technology and a series of dilating tubes to access the cervical spine.

Fusing together two or more vertebrae, the surgeon is able to add stability and release nerve compression. Because this procedure avoids unnecessary damage and disruption to surrounding muscles, tissue or ligaments, the associated complication rate and recovery time is reduced.^

If you are suffering from myelopathy and have been recommended for spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information. We provide a no-cost MRI review* to determine whether you may be a potential candidate for one of our procedures.