Approach: This procedure is done when the cervical disease encompasses multiple vertebrae and disc levels. A vertical incision is made in the neck and the skin and muscles underneath are gently moved to the sides..
Decompression: The discs on either side of each effected vertebrae are removed and then the vertebrae themselves are also removed. Muscles and ligaments on the rear of the spine may also be removed to fully relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Stabilization: Since this procedure removes portions of the spine, stabilization is required. This is accomplished through fusion – where a bone graft is inserted along with metal cages in the affected area. Titanium plates or other instrumentation may also be used for further stability.
After surgery, patients will remain in the hospital for a few days. Most patients are able to return to all activities within weeks. A postoperative rehabilitation program is usually prescribed to guide return to activities and normal life.