Candidates for minimally invasive posterior cervical fusion typically have ongoing arm and neck pain. Once all conservative treatment methods have been exhausted, consult with your spine surgeon to determine if a minimally invasive posterior cervical is right for you.
Patients who may experience relief from a minimally invasive posterior cervical fusion often have:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Weakness in their hand or arm
- Pain in the arm and neck pain
- Not see improvement with physical therapy and/or medication
Be sure to consider all risk and benefits of spine surgery before making your decision.
As with any surgery you will experience some pain and discomfort. This is due to the incision and muscles being moved while surgery is being performed. If you had pain and numbness prior to your surgery, you may have these afterwards as well; especially if you had any delicate surgery around the nerve itself. This will gradually improve as you heal.
You will wear a hard cervical brace for several weeks allowing the bone graft material to bond with the vertebrae above and below its insertion area. Once the area is healing adequately you will move into a soft collar and will start physical therapy. It’s important to complete the entire physical therapy prescribed ensure the best possible outcome from you surgery.
Patients often have immediate improvement in their symptoms. There is no bone or disc removed. Patients do not have problems swallowing or speaking as they sometimes do after an anterior (front of neck) approach. There is also a quicker return to normal function and it leaves future surgical options open.