A thoracic corpectomy and fusion is performed in order to provide spinal decompression and pain relief due to compressed nerves in the spine, lower and middle back. This condition can be caused by any number of factors, including degenerative spinal conditions. Bone spurs, herniated discs and spinal infection, tumors and spinal fractures can all create pressure on spinal nerves. A thoracic corpectomy and fusion alleviates this pain and discomfort in two ways – first, the removal of material from the spine, and, second, fusion of two or more vertebra. Dr. Chetan Patel specializes in providing robust medical help for patients, and the most advanced treatments for spinal nerve compression. To learn more, contact at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health Call407-303-5452.

How the Procedure Works

A thoracic corpectomy and fusion is a two-step process. The first step is to remove necessary material from the spine, called a lumbar corpectomy. An incision is made in the side of the abdomen, rather than directly in the back. This provides greater access to the material that must be removed. During this portion of the surgery, the surgeon will remove parts of intervertebral discs and vertebra in order to reach the compressed nerves within the spine.

The goal of the procedure is to remove the source of the spinal compression to reduce pressure on the nerves. The second step of the process is the fusion of additional material in the spine. The surgeon performing the corpectomy and fusion will add bone graft (or a genetically engineered substitute) to the decompression site between the adjacent vertebra. In addition, the surgeon will also add “instrumentation”, which can include plates, rods and screws, in order to support the area during the healing process.

For those with very severe spinal compression, the corpectomy and fusion will need to be combined with a posterior spinal fusion with additional instrumentation (in addition to the anterior procedure described above). This surgery is generally performed several days after the initial procedure to provide some time to heal.

The only way to determine if this is the right procedure for your condition is to consult with Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. After a full examination via x-ray, CT scan and other techniques, a full diagnosis can be made.

Questions about Recovery Time

A corpectomy and fusion will certainly require some recovery time. However, most patients find that they are able to walk (in the hospital) the day of the treatment. All patients will require a customized recovery plan that incorporates physical therapy, and the time required to return to a normal routine will vary considerably from one individual to the next, based on their physical therapy, physical condition and their “normal” level of activity.

After surgery, most patients will experience immediate relief of severe back pain, while some symptoms may take some time to improve. To learn more about thoracic corpectomy and fusion surgery, please call AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health at Call407-303-5452 to make an appointment to speak with Dr. Chetan Patel.