Anterior Cervical Corpectomy Spine Surgery
Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) is performed for patients with symptomatic, progressive cervical spinal stenosis and myelopathy. It is performed to remove the large, arthritic osteophytes (bone spurs) … Read More
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Anterior Cervical Corpectomy Spine Surgery
It is performed to remove the large, arthritic osteophytes (bone spurs) that are compressing the spinal cord and spinal nerves. However, in order to do so generally involves removing nearly the entire vertebral body and disc, which must be replaced with a piece of bone graft and mended (fused) together to maintain stability.
Nerve compression in the cervical can cause neck pain and/or pain, numbness and weakness that extends into the shoulders, arms and hands. Degenerative spinal conditions, including herniated discs and bone spurs, are common causes of spinal nerve compression.
An anterior cervical corpectomy is performed for patients who have experienced degenerative changes in the cervical spine that have resulted in the formation of bone spurs (bony projections) and/or herniated discs. As a result of stenosis, the spinal cord and nerves can be compressed (pinched) and even injured.
What is Spinal stenosis? What causes it?
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal-the space between the vertebral bones in which the spinal cord is situated – or of the spaces through which nerves exit the spinal cord. It is caused by aging of bones and bulging of inter-vertebral discs through these spaces.
How does an anterior cervical corpectomy help spinal stenosis?
It is done to remove a part or entire segment of the vertebrae in the neck region from the front side, to correct the degenerating vertebrae by replacing with a suitable bone graft. The graft placed does not cause compression on spinal cord.
Who should get an anterior cervical corpectomy?
This surgery is advised to people suffering from unexplained neck pain that is due to spinal stenosis/ compression of spinal cord.
When should one get an anterior cervical corpectomy?
Surgery is advised when the patient is in severe pain, not responding to medications or physiotherapy and when there is partial or complete spinal stenosis.
What investigations are required for anterior cervical corpectomy?
Most common investigation done in this case is a cervical X-ray (X-ray of neck region), used to plan the surgery and the exact location of the corpectomy.
What is the success rate of this anterior cervical corpectomy?
Cervical corpectomy is a safe and successful cure for cervical spinal stenosis. Most studies report 80-90% relief in symptoms after a corpectomy.
What are the complications that can arise after anterior cervical corpectomy?
Other than the complications associated with other surgeries like bleeding, blood clot formation and infection, the most serious complication associated with all spine surgeries is injury to the cord, which can lead to pain, paralysis, loss of sensation, palsies etc.
What exercises and physiotherapy I need after this anterior cervical corpectomy?
This surgery is very serious, and hence, requires a long and extensive rehabilitation plan. Initial days of recovery, the patient must ensure movement of limbs only, following which a comprehensive physiotherapy is required to restore normal activity.
How long is the recovery after anterior cervical corpectomy?
The rehabilitation could vary in duration from weeks to a few months, till the spine is completely restored. Driving, working and other such activities are resumed soon after.
What are the precautions I have to follow after anterior cervical corpectomy?
Dressing over the wound has to be changed as frequently as told by the doctor. Follow-up visits and physiotherapy also needs to be regularly observed as per instruction for proper bone fusion and restoration of function.
Will there be any permanent loss of function or lifestyle change after anterior cervical corpectomy?
In uncomplicated cases, there is no loss in mobility, function. No limitation in activity or lifestyle change is seen after complete healing.
What activities should be avoided after anterior cervical corpectomy?
Strenuous exercise is barred till recovery e.g. hiking, gymming, and outdoor sports. However, once healing is complete, no such avoidances are required.