Anterior Cervical Corpectomy

This surgery removes damaged or diseased vertebral bone and surrounding discs. It relieves neck, arm and leg symptoms caused by pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

How is the procedure performed?

An anterior cervical corpectomy is performed through an incision on the front of the neck. The surgeon removes the discs above and below the damaged vertebra. The diseased vertebra is removed, resulting in relief from pinched nerve roots and pressure on the spinal cord.

A bone graft is placed in the empty space between the vertebra. The surgeon may attached a small metal plate over the graft to ensure proper alignment while the bone heals. Over time, the bone graft will fuse together forming a new bone mass.

How long will it take to recover?

You may notice an immediate improvement in some of your symptoms following your surgery. Most patients are able to return home about 4 days after surgery. Patients can normally begin to bend and twist their neck about 4-6 weeks after surgery. As pain subsides, patients can begin to bend and twist more gradually as the neck and back muscles get stronger. Be sure to follow you post-surgical guidelines to ensure the best possible outcomes.

What are the risks of an anterior cervical corpectomy?

As with most spinal surgeries there is a risk of bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia.

Risks associated with an anterior cervical corpectomy include:

  • Bone fusion failure, which may result in further surgery.
  • Spinal cord/nerve root injuries

When should I call my doctor?

You should contact us if you experience:

  • A temperature of 101.1° or above.
  • Increasing redness and swelling at the incision site.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Changes in the amount, appearance, or odor of drainage from your incision.
  • New or increased changes in sensation/presence of numbness in extremities.
  • Severe pain that is not relieved by medication and rest.
  • Problems with your walking or balance
  • Questions or problems not covered by these instructions