Posterior Cervical Fusion
Posterior Cervical Fusion in Southlake
There are numerous indications for a posterior cervical fusion, which include:
- Instability of the spine
- Supplementation of an anterior cervical fusion
- Cervical spine trauma
- Fusion following posterior cervical nerve decompression
What to Expect
- An incision is made over the middle of the back portion of the neck.
- The soft tissues and muscles are dissected to access to the spine.
- Instrumentation (rods and screws) is placed in the appropriate positions.
- Bone graft is placed in the appropriate positions across the spinal segments intended for fusion.
- Laminectomy work to decompress the nerves may be done if indicated.
- A drain is placed to allow fluid/bleeding to not get trapped at the surgical site, which is shortly removed after surgery.
- The soft tissues are reapproximated and the incision is closed.
Most patients who have had PCF surgery are released from the hospital 1-3 days after surgery. The majority of patients have some or all of their symptoms improve immediately, but sometimes the improvement may take time and occur more gradually.
We encourage activity in the form of walking regularly following the surgery. A physical therapist will work with patients in the hospital following surgery during their stay. A cervical collar/brace will be worn for a couple of months following surgery.
Post-operative restrictions and guidelines are discussed prior to the surgery to ensure a successful outcome and safe recovery. Typically restrictions include no bending, lifting over 5 pounds, twisting, pushing/pulling, and reaching. Driving is restricted for several weeks following surgery. Physical therapy is typically started 3 months following surgery.
Possible Risks or Complications
- Epidural hematoma
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Non-union of the vertebrae
- Adjacent segment degeneration following a successful fusion
For more information regarding the procedure, please ask your spine provider.