Conditions that can lead to C4-C5 fusion surgery

C4-C5 fusion surgery is often a last resort treatment for people with nerve pain in the cervical (upper) region of the spine. This upper part of the spine that runs through the neck consists of seven vertebrae, numbered C1-C7 from bottom to top. The cervical spine is vulnerable to conditions because of the weight and pressure it is required to support while remaining flexible enough to move.

A C4-C7 fusion is a procedure that involves stabilizing the space between the fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae by taking out a damaged spinal disc and inserting a bone graft in its place. There is a range of specific spine conditions that can destabilize this area, causing a specialist to recommend a fusion procedure.

Degenerative spine conditions that can lead to spinal fusion

A degenerative spine condition occurs when parts of the spine — such as the joints and discs — begin to break down due to the natural aging process. Years of bending the neck and pivoting the head, along with injury, can cause the discs and joints in the cervical spine to weaken and sometimes move out of alignment. This can lead to constriction of the nerve pathways and the potential for painful, debilitating nerve compression.

Examples of degenerative spine conditions that could eventually require a C4-C7 fusion include:

  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
  • Bulging disc
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis

When is C4-C5 fusion necessary?

For many patients, a condition in the cervical spine can be treated with several months of conservative, nonsurgical treatment, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Pain medication
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Lifestyle changes

Your physician should recommend a course of conservative treatment after diagnosing your cervical spine condition.

Often, cervical fusion surgery only becomes necessary if you are still suffering from pain after conservative treatments have been exhausted and symptoms are still being experienced. If this is your case, contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. In situations where a traditional open spine C4-C5 fusion is being recommended, our minimally invasive stabilization procedures are a safer and effective alternative.^

For more information, contact our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today.