Our spines are complex structures, encompassing a collection of bony vertebrae interspersed with soft cushions known as discs. When these discs become compromised, unpleasant symptoms, including pain, numbness, and tingling, may result. Relief from these symptoms can often be achieved with non-surgical approaches. When these non-invasive treatments fail, Dr. Czerwein may call for a Cervical Corpectomy.
What Is Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion?
This procedure is used to relieve pressure on the structures of the spinal nerves. It is performed by removing disc material or vertebral bone with the aim of performing a fusion using a bone graft. This can be done to relieve the aforementioned pressure and stabilize the remaining spine. As the fusion continues, it will bind the two vertebrae together, providing additional support for the spine and optimal disc height.
Is This Procedure Appropriate For Me?
This procedure is performed to alleviate symptoms associated with spinal nerve compression, including numbness, weakness. When an examination of your spine using CT scans, MRI scans, and X-ray revealed that nerve compression is present, Dr. Czerwein may suggest this treatment. In the majority of cases, other less invasive treatment options will be attempted before surgery is resorted to. In addition, your overall health condition has to be considered. Your lifestyle, health, and age will all be factors, as well as your anticipated level of activity followed the procedure. Further discussion with Dr. Czerwein will determine if this treatment is right for you.
What Is Recovery From Cervical Corpectomy Like?
Everyone responds to this treatment differently. In certain cases, you may discover that you’re able to begin noticing improvements immediately. In other cases, these improvements will only occur over a period of weeks. You will spend a minimum of 24 hours in the hospital and should be able to get up and walk on the day after it is performed. You will typically be able to return to work after a period of 3-6 weeks, depending on the details of the work you perform and how well your healing process is going. Follow-ups with Dr. Czerwein will involve discussion of your recovery and updates on expected milestones.
What Risks Are Associated With A Cervical Corpectomy?
The results of this treatment may vary from patient to patient, and all medical procedures come with some degree of risk. As anesthesia will be necessary during the procedure, there are the associated complications from it. In addition, there is some risk of bowel and bladder problems, nerve damage, blood loss or clotting, and the potential for infection. While uncommon, there’s a risk that the fusion may not work properly and will require additional surgery to correct. If you’d like more detail about the potential complication, be sure to provide your questions to Dr. Czerwein.
This procedure can provide relief from nerve compression when other treatments fail to provide complete relief from the symptoms. Dr. John Czerwein is a valuable resource to spinal patients. We look forward to seeing you soon!