When the area that requires decompression cannot be adequately addressed by anterior cervical discectomy alone, a corpectomy may be needed. This procedure typically involves the removal of two discs in the vertebral body between them in order to decompress the cervical spinal cord and spinal nerves. Occasionally, only part of a vertebral body is removed as necessary for decompression. The removed bone and discs will be replaced by a cylindrical synthetic interbody strut packed with some of the bone removed from the patient, as well as a specially prepared donor bone. In rare cases, due to certain medical conditions, use of a piece of the patient’s own bone (usually hipbone) will be recommended. An anterior plate and screws will be used to provide further stability while the bone heals and grows to provide lifelong natural support.
Port City Neurosurgery & Spine utilizes Intraoperative Monitoring of the Nerves (IOM) for surgeries that require manipulation of the spine. This technique allows the surgeon to monitor the nervous system in real time during a complex surgery. Electrodes are placed throughout the body, depending on type of surgery and the conditions, and the feedback allows the surgeon to detect problems as they arise, preventing permanent nerve damage.
For most patients, the typical post-surgical hospital stay is 24-48 hours. Any mild discomfort at the surgical site can be addressed through oral pain medications and the minor sore throat that often accompanies the procedure clears up quickly. Symptoms may improve immediately or gradually, dependent upon the patient’s preoperative condition, compliance with health care provider recommendations and realistic expectations following the surgery. Patients who smoke cigarettes should cease immediately because smoking significantly interferes with the bone’s ability to heal