Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD, Spine Surgeon
A posterior cervical fusion is performed through an incision in the back of the neck. A posterior cervical fusion is used where the surgeon requires access to the back of the neck,
If your spine is unstable, due to a fracture or a dislocation of the vertebrae, the fusion stabilizes the spine. This is particularly important when you have not injured your spinal cord. Stabilization of the spine can protect you from spinal cord injury while you heal.
A posterior cervical fusion may also be used to straighten the spine, or control a spinal deformity such as a cervical kyphosis. The cervical spine normally has a "C" shaped curve with the open side of the "C" towards the back. A "kyphotic" curve is exactly the opposite - the opening of the "C" points to the front. This deformity occurs when the cervical spine is unstable and begins to bend forward.
This surgery is done through the back of the neck. A bone graft is placed on the back surface of the problem vertebrae. During the healing process, the vertebrae grow together, creating a solid piece of bone.
Instrumented Posterior Cervical Fusion
A graft that is held tightly in place has a better chance of fusing. To improve fusion, we commonly use metal plates, screws, and rods that hold the spine in place. These implants are referred to as instrumentation. Many different types of metal implants are used with the intent of maximizing healing of the fusion.
Dr. Haid is the co-developer of the first artificial cervical disc approved for use in the United States. He is also the developer of TWO methods of cervical fusion which are widely used throughout the world. He is uniquely qualified to guide patients through the decision process.