Do you suffer from chronic pain, numbness or weakness in your arms, neck or shoulder areas? Have you been diagnosed with cervical degeneration? In this article, we have you covered on some of the most basic aspects of Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion, also known as Spinal Fusion Surgery, which is the most effective treatment for cervical degeneration available today.
What is a spinal fusion surgery?
Currently the gold standard treatment for cervical degenerative disc diseases, spinal fusion surgery is the answer to a wide range of cases involving inflexible neck and numbness, tingling, or weakness in the neck, arms, or shoulders. This is typically the most preferred choice of orthopedic surgeons in cases of cervical disc herniation, a condition in which the damaged disc causes pain and discomfort. This condition calls for a surgical removal of the offending disc through a process called anterior cervical discectomy. This procedure is followed by a fusion surgery in order to bridge the gap created in the spinal column after the removal of the faulty disc.
Why experts trust the spinal fusion surgery?
Keller-based orthopedic surgeon and the founder and owner of Trinity Orthopedics, Dr. Larry M. Kjeldgaard professes his profound belief in the procedure as its “results are usually fairly dramatic and the improvements are quick.” Specializing in the treatment of the spine and back, he is often referred to as “The Bone Doctor”. According to Dr. Kjeldgaard, when all medications and injections fail to treat the pain associated with cervical disc degeneration, the only option left is to conduct a corrective surgery to remove the problematic disc. The space thus created between two vertebrae is then fused using a bone graft which is secured with a small metal plate screwed into the bone joining the adjacent vertebra.
Advantages of this surgical procedure
With the spinal fusion surgery, there are minimal chances of a recurrent disc herniation because most of the disc is removed.
Risks involved in the spinal fusion surgery
The potential risks and complications involved in this surgery depend on the certain factors including:
- Condition of the affected disc
- Health condition of the patient (bone strength, diabetes, or other disease)
- Whether or not the patient smokes
Results of the surgery also depend largely on the expertise of the concerned orthopedic surgeon.
Some of the main potential risks and complications of this surgery includes:
- Insufficient relief from symptoms after the surgery
- Failure of bone graft healing to create a fusion
- Nerve root damage
- Persistent swallowing or speech disturbance
- Damaged trachea/esophagus
So if you are suffering from persistent pains in your neck, arms, and/or shoulders, you must see a doctor immediately to find out if you indeed have cervical degeneration. And, if you’ve already been diagnosed with this syndrome, you should consider this surgical procedure as one of the most effective options available for your condition. However, before going ahead with this surgery, you should discuss the potential risks and complications with your surgeon to determine if this surgery is the right fit for your problems and health condition.