The cervical spine is the top seven vertebra which make up the neck. Pain here may result from a herniated disc or bony outgrowths (bone spurs or osteophytes) which can form when joints calcify in the spine. This nerve root compression, the source of the pain, can be relieved with an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion. Anterior means front and the operation involves a small incision made near the front of the neck, through which the surgeon can remove the intervertebral disc – and, in some cases, a portion of the bone around the nerve roots and/or spinal cord - to access and remove the compressed neural structures, thereby relieving pressure.
Sometimes the space between the vertebrae is left open, or a cage is placed between the adjacent vertebrae to maintain the normal height of the disc space. A cage, usually with bone morphogenic protein, is placed between two or more opposing vertebrae to promote spinal fusion (bone growth between the vertebral bodies). Surgeons use these implants to decrease the amount of time that the patient wears a cervical collar after surgery and to increase the chances of developing a solid fusion.
Following surgery you may need to wear a soft collar when you are sitting and mobile.
You will not be able to drive for two weeks as you will be not have full movement to correctly use your mirrors or perform an emergency stop.
Your wound will have been closed with steristrips, which will remain in position for 10 days post surgery.
Do not lift anything over 3kg in weight until advised by your surgeon at your follow-up appointment.
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