Anterior Cervical Fusion
Anterior cervical spinal fusion surgeries are commonly performed in conjunction with an anterior cervical discectomy. For many patients, cervical spinal fusion surgery (fusing one vertebra to another) is often to eliminate motion at a vertebral segment. Decreasing the motion at a painful motion segment should decrease the pain at that segment. Achieving the fusion also serves to maintain adequate space for the decompressed spinal cord and/or nerve roots. The fusion may also prevent the spine from falling into a collapsed deformity (kyphosis).
These surgeries can also help treat cervical instability due to trauma (fractures or dislocations), tumors or infections, as well as bone grafts for spinal fusion.
To achieve a spinal fusion, a bone graft helps promote two bones growing together into one. The patient’s own bone will grow into and around the bone graft and incorporate the graft bone as its own. This process creates one continuous bone surface and eliminates motion at the fused joint. A small piece of bone then helps fuse a disc space while a longer strut graft is used to bridge across multiple disc spaces. This occurs only if you experience a corpectomy.