Cervical spinal stenosis and myelopathy requires spinal corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) in order to alleviate pain from bone spur buildup (arthritis). Like thoracic procedures, this is necessary to relieve compression of the spinal nerves and spinal cord, though it is performed in a different area of the back (the cervical spine, rather than the thoracic spine). This procedure requires the removal of the vertebra and disc, the insertion of bone graft material and hardware, and the fusion of that section of the spine. For more information about cervical corpectomy and fusion, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.
What Does Corpectomy Mean?
A corpectomy really just means the removal of bone material from the spine. In this procedure, both the vertebra and the disc are generally removed in order to alleviate the compression of the nerves and spinal cord caused by bone growth (bone spurs).
What Does Fusion Mean?
The fusion portion of a cervical corpectomy and fusion procedure is what stabilizes the spine after bone removal. Fusion essentially joins grafted bone and existing bone together – it mimics a fracture and encourages bone growth. When fusion occurs, it immobilizes that section of the spine. However, bone grafts are only part of what’s required to achieve stabilization. The surgeon performing the procedure will also install hardware to hold the bone graft in place against the vertebra. This hardware can be rods and screws, but other types are also used, including hooks and wires, and rods and wires. The exact type used will depend on surgeon preference and your specific case.
How Does a Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion Procedure Work?
In this procedure, the surgeon will make an anterior incision (front) rather than a posterior incision (back). Anterior procedures are less invasive, require smaller incisions and provide reduced recovery time for patients. Most surgeons make this incision in the neck (usually two to four centimeters in length). Tissue and the cervical fascia are retracted, not cut, providing the surgeon with the means to insert laparoscopic equipment into the incision. An x-ray will also be conducted to verify that the surgeon is operating in the correct area.
In most cases, the surgeon will perform a complete cervical corpectomy and fusion rather than a partial, though this will depend on your specific case. In the usual scenario, the surgeon will remove the entire cervical vertebra and the disc as well as any disc fragments visible. Bone spurs are then removed and the rest of the surrounding tissue is examined for health and condition.
The surgeon will then measure the size of the gap created and take a section of donor bone large enough to match it. A metal plate held in place by pedicle screws is usually used to affix the donor graft.
Recovery time after Dr. Chetan Patel has conducted a full cervical corpectomy and fusion can vary from patient to patient. However, you should plan on remaining in the hospital for several days before being sent home with orders to rest.
To find out more about cervical corpectomy and fusion or other spinal surgical procedures, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.