Cervical spine stabilization is a phrase applied to a variety of different techniques used in the cervical spine (the neck) to reduce or eliminate instability. Instability can be caused by degenerative disc diseases, injury, trauma, herniated discs and more. Treatment can include minimally invasive procedures like a microdiscectomy as well as others, including spinal fusion. To determine the correct option for your specific condition, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452 to set up an appointment.

Procedures for Spine Stabilization

When most patients think about stabilization procedures for the spine, the first one that comes to mind is fusion. This is natural, as fusion is a common procedure and does offer complete stabilization of the cervical spine. However, other procedures that can assist with stabilization include partial discectomies, the use of artificial spinal discs and the removal of bone spurs to reduce spinal compression.

Fusion and Corpectomy Procedures

In spinal fusion (the most common type of spine stabilization procedure), there are several options open to Dr. Chetan Patel when performing surgery at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. One of these is a corpectomy and fusion. In this situation, part or all of a vertebra will be removed and then the necessary levels will be fused to ensure spine stability.

Discectomy and Fusion

Perhaps the most common procedure for spine stabilization in the neck (cervical spine), is a discectomy and fusion procedure. Dr. Chetan Patel prefers to use minimally invasive techniques, and offers a microdiscectomy procedure for patients in need of stabilization and spinal decompression. In this instance, laparoscopic equipment and techniques will be used to avoid needless complications and lengthy recovery times. Through a small incision in the side of the neck (either side), the surgeon will enter the spine and remove the damaged disc (if no fusion is being done, then only a partial discectomy will be performed to remove just the herniated material).

Once the disc has been removed, the surgeon will install stabilization hardware. In the cervical spine, there are two types of hardware (instrumentation) used. These include pedicle screws and plates (can be used throughout the entire cervical spine) and wires (used only for the upper cervical spine). The purpose of the hardware is to join two or more vertebras together. Between the vertebral bodies, the surgeon will install bone graft material. This can be material taken from the patient’s own body (usually the hip, but other locations can be chosen), or from a cadaver. However, there are also genetically engineered graft materials available today as well.

Why Fusion?

Fusion is necessary for patients with serious instability conditions and when a disc is removed from between two vertebras. This process will create a single unit of the two or more levels, and eliminate mobility there.

If you are suffering with neck, shoulder or back pain, it’s important to consult with an expert. Contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health for an appointment to discuss your situation and treatment options. Call Call407-303-5452.