Anterior Cervical Fusion

Anterior cervical spinal fusion surgeries are commonly done in conjunction with an anterior cervical discectomy. For many patients, cervical spinal fusion surgery (fusing one vertebra to another) is often done 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).

Additionally, anterior cervical spinal fusions are also done to treat cervical instability due to:

Trauma (fractures or dislocations)
Tumor
Infection
Bone grafts for spinal fusion surgery

To achieve a spinal fusion, a bone graft is used to 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 is used to fuse a disc space and a longer so-called strut graft is used to bridge across multiple disc spaces, if a corpectomy has been performed.

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