What is cervical spine surgery?
Cervical spine surgery is generally performed when the patient suffers from either spinal cord compression (or impingement) or spinal instability in the neck area. The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae in the neck, which act as shock-absorbing discs. When the discs degenerate and become unstable, the nerves become affected, causing pain.
What are cervical spine surgery approaches?
Cervical spine dysfunctions are treated mainly through fusion surgery or decompression surgery. They can be performed through three different approaches:
- Anterior (front):
The cervical spine is approached from the front. Surgeons may prefer the anterior approach since it makes it easier to maintain the normal alignment of the spine.
- Posterior (back):
The posterior approach may be preferred by some spine surgeons for a cervical discectomy. It can also confer an advantage for spine fusion surgery because the disc does not need to be removed before the surgery.