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Cervical Spine Fusion

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Updated December 14, 2006

Definition: When surgery is the only option, persons with nerve root compression in their neck may undergo a cervical spine fusion.

In this procedure a doctor will make an incision in the front of the neck. The interveterbral disk is removed in a procedure called an anterior cervical discectomy. Next the space where the disk was is filled with a graft of bone usually taken from the patient's pelvis. The area will then fuse.

Although a cervical spine fusion limits range of motion at the affected vertebral level, this procedure can be very effective for relieving the pain associated with compressed nerve roots.

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