Posterior Cervical Fusion
What is posterior cervical fusion?
A posterior cervical fusion (PCF) is used to stop the motion between two or more vertebra, recreate the normal curve of the cervical spine, keep a spinal deformity from getting worse, or stabilize the spine after a fracture or dislocation of the cervical spine. This procedure is performed through an incision in the back of the neck.
Who is a good candidate for posterior cervical fusion?
You may be a good candidate for PCF procedure if you require a fusion, are skeletally mature, and have gone through six weeks of non-surgical treatment.
How posterior cervical fusion works
This surgery is done through the back of the neck. A bone graft is placed on the back surface of the problem vertebrae. During the healing process, the vertebrae grow together, creating a solid piece of bone. This type of fusion is used in the cervical spine for fractures and dislocations. It is also used to correct deformities in the neck.
You may also hear the term anterior fusion. This procedure is commonly used to treat neck problems. The surgeon works from the front (anterior) of the neck. A bone graft is placed between two vertebral bodies (interbody area) to replace the disc that normally sits between them. During the healing process, the vertebrae grow together, creating a solid piece of bone.
Instrumented posterior cervical fusion
Bone heals best when it is held still and without motion between the pieces trying to heal. Therefore, a graft that is held tightly in place has a better chance of fusing the vertebrae together. To do this, doctors commonly use metal plates, screws, and rods. These implants are referred to as instrumentation.