Posterior Cervical Fusion and How It Can Relieve Your Pain

Treatments

Posterior cervical fusion is a surgical procedure that is used to treat chronic neck pain that hasn’t been relieved by a series of nonsurgical treatments. Degenerative changes or injury can cause a cervical disc or bone to put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, causing pain and numbness. The goal of posterior neck fusion is to alleviate that pain by decompressing the affected nerve and stabilizing the cervical spine so that you can get back to your regular activities.

We understand the impact that chronic neck pain can have on your life and your ability to do the things you love. Back Pain Centers of America has helped thousands of patients find relief from spine pain, and we can do the same for you. Give us a call today at 1.844.201.1308 to get matched with a board-certified spine specialist who can provide the treatment you need.

Enjoy the beach following posterior cervical fusion

Benefits

By far the best benefit of posterior neck surgery is the immediate relief from your pain. A minimally invasive approach to posterior cervical fusion offers patients several benefits over traditional open spine surgery, including:

  • A much faster recovery
  • A small incision
  • Tissue-sparring techniques
  • Minimal scarring

Conditions/Symptoms Treated

Posterior cervical fusion may be used to treat several causes of neck pain and to prevent a fracture and stabilize the cervical spine. Some of the symptoms treated with this type of posterior neck surgery include:

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • Pain that radiates to shoulder, arms, and hands
  • Weakness in the arms and hands
  • Numbness and tingling

Preparation

Though you will be given specific preparation instructions before your posterior spine fusion, your preparation may include the following:

  • Stop smoking – Smoking can slow your recovery and has been linked to neck pain. You may need to stop smoking for a period before and after your surgery.
  • Stop taking certain medications – Certain medications and supplements increase the risk of bleeding and need to be stopped for a period before surgery. You will be told which of these to stop and for how long.
  • Fast for 6 to 12 hours – You will need to fast before your posterior neck fusion and will be told what time to stop eating and drinking beforehand.
  • Arrange a ride home – You will not be able to drive after your procedure and will need to arrange to be dropped off and picked up.

Failing to follow the preparation instructions you’re given can result in the postponement of your surgery.

Procedure

You will be placed on your stomach, sedated and given anesthesia for your surgery. Posterior cervical fusion is performed through a very small incision in the back of the neck that usually measures approximately an inch long. During the procedure, the surgeon will fuse two or more of your vertebrae together. If needed, the surgeon can perform other spinal procedures before the fusion to remove bone materials or a damaged disc that may be contributing to your pain.

Once completed, the incision is closed and covered and you will be sent to the recovery room to be monitored for a few hours.

How Long Will it Take to Recover from Posterior Cervical Fusion?

Typically, posterior cervical fusion recovery can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Your doctor will advise you as to when you can resume certain activities and return to work.

Pain can be managed using over-the-counter pain medication and by applying cold and heat. You may also be prescribed physical therapy to assist in your rehabilitation and help you prevent future neck problems.

You will need to wear a brace for a period following your posterior cervical fusion. This helps to remove stress from the neck and improve healing.

You don’t need to live with debilitating neck pain. Call us today at 1.844.201.1308 to learn more about how Back Pain Centers of America can help you get back to doing the things you love.

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