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Cervical Corpectomy

Cervical Corpectomy

A cervical corpectomy is a procedure that involves replacing a cervical (neck) vertebra and discs and replacing them with a bone graft. It differs from a cervical discectomy in that corpectomies remove an entire vertebra, while discectomies only remove the cushion material between vertebrae.

Why Would I Need a Cervical Corpectomy?


Cervical corpectomies are performed to relieve pressure on the cervical portion of the spinal cord, a process known as decompression. This pressure can be caused by the following conditions in the cervical vertebrae:

 

  • Herniated discs
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal fracture
  • Spinal tumors
  • Infection

Patients with cervical spinal cord pressure often experience:

  • Neck pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the neck and upper extremities
  • Muscle weakness in the neck and arms

If physical therapy and other non-surgical treatment do not solve the patient’s problem, the doctor may recommend spinal surgery. To determine if a cervical corpectomy is the best procedure for you, you will need to consult a spinal specialist.

 

What is the Procedure Like?


Cervical Corpectomy
The steps of a cervical corpectomy are as follows:

 

  • Patient lies on back
  • A small incision is made just to the side of the midline of the neck
  • Neck tissue and muscle is gently moved aside
  • The damaged or diseased vertebra and discs are removed
  • A bone graft, cage, plate, and screws are inserted to allow for fusion
  • The tissue is returned to its place and the incision is closed

 

 

Recovery


Recovery depends on a number of factors. Set up a recovery plan with your spinal surgeon based on your specific situation. Many patients experience an immediate relief of pre-surgery symptoms. Some symptoms may improve gradually.

Risks and Complications

Spinal surgeries inherently carry a small risk of infection, blood loss, blood clots, nerve damage and complications associated with anesthesia. Risks are different between all patients and should be discussed with your spinal surgeon.
If you have questions about cervical corpectomies or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today.