What Is Corpectomy?

If your cervical (neck) spinal canal becomes narrowed by bone spurs on the back of a vertebral body or the ligament behind a vertebral body, it may be necessary to remove the vertebral body plus the discs above and below it to adequately decompress your spinal cord and nerve roots. This area of compression cannot be addressed by an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion alone. Cervical corpectomy removes a portion of the vertebra and its adjacent intervertebral discs for decompression of the cervical spinal cord and spinal nerves. We then perform a bone graft with or without a metal plate and screws to reconstruct the spine and provide stability.

What should you expect?

After cervical corpectomy, most patients experience only mild discomfort at the operative site. This is generally well controlled with oral pain medicine. A mild sore throat is not uncommon and is usually brief. Most patients are discharged from the hospital in 24 to 48 hours. Patients may notice immediate improvement in some or all of their symptoms while some symptoms improve only gradually. A successful outcome will depend on your compliance with your spine specialist’s recommendations and realistic expectations for meeting the goals of surgery, which depend on your condition before the procedure. Please note that cigarette smoking dramatically impairs bone healing. Quitting smoking will significantly improve the likelihood for a successful spinal fusion surgery. Our cervical disc replacement patients come to us from Vernon, South Windsor, Manchester, Hartford, Bloomfield, Ellington and neighboring areas.

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