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This is What You Should Know About Cervical Spinal Fusion

As we wage, it is not unusual to experience pain and stiffness in our neck. But if the problem becomes severe or is accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness in the extremities, then, you may be a candidate for cervical spinal fusion. 

If you are coinciding or are scheduled for cervical spinal surgery, there are important facts you should know so that you may have the best outcomes. 

How Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Perform the Surgery?

To relieve symptoms in the neck, your surgeon will remove a disc or bone in the area of concern. The vertebrae will then be fused using a graft either in the front or back of the spine. 

There are two types of grafts:

  • Autograft- A bone is taken from your body
  • Allograft- Bone that is donor bone from a bone bank 

The surgeon may use rods, plates, or screws may be inserted to stabilize the spine. 


What Can I Do to Have a Successful Surgery? 

There are a few recommendations for patients to have successful outcomes:

Stop Smoking

If you smoke, now is a great time to quit. Nicotine can affect the fusion of the bones and slow healing. Nicotine in any form can affect the fusing of the bones, including smoking cessation products that include nicotine. Please discuss with your doctor as they may be able to prescribe a medication to help you quit. 

Lost Weight

Obesity is not only associated with degeneration in the spine; it may affect the outcomes of surgery. A high BMI is associated with an increase in operation time, blood loss, and complications post-operatively. 

Follow Directions from all Providers

Make sure you follow directions from all your providers to manage all your health conditions. During the months leading up to surgery, make certain that chronic diseases are managed appropriately. Also, attend routine visits, ensure lab work is up to date, and take all medications as prescribed. Honest and open communication is key. 


What Should I Know About Post-Op and Recovery? 

The most important thing you should know about cervical spinal surgery is the sooner you are active, the sooner you will recover. 

Physical therapists will work with you to design a program specific to your needs. Therapists may provide assistive devices to help you with activities of daily living. Be sure to use all equipment as directed. 

It is very important you do your exercise once you return home. Take your pain medication as directed to manage discomfort better as you recover. Also, remember to wear your brace as your surgeon and support team directed. 


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Have Questions About Cervical Spinal Surgery? Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center is Here For You

We are the largest and most modern orthopedic surgery center in NC. Our specialty is orthopaedic care. 

The team prides itself on providing outstanding patient satisfaction and superior clinical outcomes at the appropriate cost. We are experts in several orthopedic surgical procedures, including cervical spinal surgery. 

Call Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center today at 919-719-3070 for more information. 


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.