What is three level cervical fusion surgery?
Cervical fusion surgery joins more than one spinal bone by employing screws, bolts and plates, corrects deformities and removes discs which are replaced with bone graft or spacer. Three level fusion surgery replaces three discs with hardware to stabilize the neck.
Indications of three level cervical fusion
Three level surgery is performed in instances like tumors, spinal bone fractures, osteomyelitis infection, stenosis, trauma, spinal cord injury, scoliosis and severe arm pain accompanied by numbness and tingling.
Types of three level cervical fusion
Three level fusion surgery may be performed in anterior or posterior region and is referred to as Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion or Posterior Cervical Fusion respectively.
The anterior approach provides direct visualization of cervical discs and access to the entire cervical spine and is preferred owing to its uncomplicated pathway. It also has lesser incision compared to the posterior approach.
Types of bone grafting in cervical fusion
Surgeons may take one’s own bone cells from the hip, known as autograft, since it has a high rate of fusion, though it causes more pain in the hip region.
Bone obtained from a donor is known as allograft, which does not have bone growing cells and yet averts harvest of hip bone.
Bone graft substitute is made from plastic, ceramic and is packed with shavings of live bone tissues.
Post cervical fusion surgery
After surgery, range of motion depends on the number of bones fused where single level fusion has better mobility. Post surgery, one must avoid lifting, pushing and pulling of heavy objects and keep the spine in neutral position besides maintaining good posture.