I'm going to have a cervical fusion at the C2-3 level. I've been reading up on the dangers involved with this procedure. Is there anything I can do ahead of time to prevent these possible problems?Posted July 24th, 2008 by Matt
There are always risks with any surgical procedure. Some can be reduced and even eliminated with careful surgical planning. Others are nonmodifiable (age, diabetes, heart disease).
In the case of upper cervical fusion, there are several unique risk factors. Some of these may not apply to you. It depends on the type of fixation used. For example, pedicle screws have become a popular fusion technique.
Can people really die from arthritis of the neck? I heard that on a report somewhere. I have rheumatoid arthritis. How dangerous is it?Posted July 24th, 2008 by Matt
Changes can occur in the structure and function of the cervical spine as a result of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Joint degeneration can lead to instability. Pressure on the spinal cord as it travels through the spinal canal in this area can cause significant problems.
Whiplash is defined as a sudden extension of the cervical spine (backward movement of the neck) and flexion (forward movement of the neck). Rear-end or side-impact motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of whiplash with injury. Soft tissues affected can include the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and discs of the cervical spine (neck).
Rheumatoid arthritis often targets the cervical spine. Changes in the structure of the vertebrae can cause significant and dangerous myelopathy (damage to the spinal cord). Surgery may be needed to stabilize the spine and protect the nerve structures. Cervical fusion is a common procedure to accomplish these goals.
I've been having neck pain off and on now for six months. I finally decided to do something about it. My first choice is a chiropractor I saw a couple of years ago. Can the chiropractor tell from the start if I'm going to have a good result?Posted July 16th, 2008 by Matt
You are asking about predictive factors of treatment for neck pain. And since you've had the pain for more than three months, it is considered chronic.
There are positive and negative prognostic predictors. These factors help guide the chiropractor when patients and choosing appropriate treatment for selected subgroups. So although there isn't a crystal ball exactly, there are some telltale signs to help guide the process.
Many people with neck pain seek help from chiropractors. Chiropractic care may vary depending on the underlying problem. Applying the right treatment for each patient is every chiropractor's goal.
Is is possible to know when to operate on a syrinx before the spinal cord is damaged enough to cause significant weakness?Posted July 9th, 2008 by Matt
The authors of a recent study feel that electrophysiological testing to evaluate the silent period is more sensitive to change in neurological integrity within the spinal cord in persons with syrinx. Somatosensory evoked potentials and motor evoked potentials may be normal and not detect more subtle, early changes that silent period testing can.
F. Roser, et al. A new concept in the electrophysiological evaluation of syringomyelia.Journal of Neurosurgery:SpineJune 2008.
A recent study of 200 subjects who underwent one to four level cervical fusions had 100 percent fusion rate. The surgeon used an osteoinductive protein called recombinant human bone morphgenic protein, rhBMP-2. The fusions were successful according to dynamic radiographs and computed tomography, even in the thirty-seven subjects who were smokers.
L. Tumialan, et al.
The most common complication is dysphagia. This means some people have difficulty with swallowing after surgery. It usually goes away with time. Other complications include formation of hematoma or seroma. Sometimes another surgery is necessary to remove them. Non-union of the fusion is another complication.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion with PEEK Spacer and Sponge Impregnated with Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenic Protein-2.Posted July 9th, 2008 by Matt
The authors retrospectively studied 200 subjects that underwent anterior cervical discectomy, ACDF, and fusion with the use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2). This is an osteoinductive protein that is placed at the fusion site in a sponge. The Federal Drug Administration has approved rhBMP-2 for use in lumbar spine fusion. It has been found to reduce time in surgery, blood loss, and shorten hospital stay.