Anterior Cervical Corpectomy
The goal of this surgery is to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves and the spinal cord. Bone and discs are removed from your cervical spine, followed by a fusion.
Creation of the incision
While preparing for the procedure, you are asked to lie on your back and afterwards you get anesthetized. Then, a small incision is created by the surgeon on the front side of your neck. In order to create a path to your spine, the structures within your neck are carefully and gently moved to the side.
The spinal discs above and below the damaged vertebra are carefully removed by the surgeon. The vertebral body, which is the main portion of this bone is removed. In some cases, more spinal discs and vertebral bodies may need to be removed. If bone spurs or other structures are also pressing against your spinal nerves or spinal cord, your surgeon will ensure to correct those too.
Inserting the Graft
The surgeon will stabilize your spine after the pressure on your nerves has been relieved. Usually, the spine is stabilized with a bone graft. The graft can either be made from a piece of bone taken from your hip or a donor. The graft is placed into the open space in your spine and the surgeon may use a metal plate and screws to secure it.
Your surgeon may decide to use another device such as a cage instead of a graft. The cage is an implant that holds your vertebrae in the right position. Many cages have an open space in the center filled with bone graft material.
End of Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the incision is closed and you may be placed in a neck brace. In the weeks following the surgery, new bone will grow and attach securely to the graft or implant, thus creating a permanent fusion. Physical therapy may be beneficial as you heal.