The goal of cervical spine surgery is to relieve symptoms of weakness, pain, numbness and tingling through restoring nerve function.
After a small skin incision approximately is made over the front of the neck, typically, just to the left of the trachea, the surgeon carefully separates tissue until he reaches the front of the spine. Once at the front of the spine, the Surgeon carefully removes the injured disc material compressing the nerve root or the spinal cord. After inspecting and visualizing that the disc injury has been cleared, a bone graft is placed between the two vertebral bodies allowing them to grow together and “fuse” into one. This creates more space for the spinal cord and nerve roots and stabilizes the region. Finally, a small metal plate is screwed into the front of the two vertebral bodies further securing the area. After surgery is completed, the small incision is closed with tiny internal stitches, which dissolve over the next few weeks.