Cervical fusion is a surgical procedure used to correct problems in the vertebrae in your neck. During cervical fusion, a surgeon essentially welds together some of the bones at the upper end of in the spinal column, eliminating the possibility for motion between the bones. The purpose of a fusion is to create a single, immovable piece of bone to ease specific back pain.
Minimally invasive fusion involves making a small incision in the patient, either on the front or back of the neck. With traditional open surgery, incisions are generally large and much more tissue is disrupted. Special instruments are then inserted at the incision and through the muscles and tissues. The surgeon then uses these special instruments to fuse together the vertebrae that are at the source of pain for the patient. Minimally invasive (MI) fusion has several advantages. Chief among them for the patient is that it causes less damage to tissue, which means a quicker recovery and less pain. Also, MI fusions can be performed in less time than it takes to perform spinal fusion in open surgery.
Your physician may recommend spinal fusion to treat many conditions, including:
- Cervical fracture
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis