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Bulging Cervical Discs

Chad Justesen cjustese at mcs.net
Mon Sep 15 22:37:29 EST 1997

There are two main approaches to decompressing the cervical cord  -
anterior and posterior.  In the anterior approach, an incision is made
in the front of the neck and the discs are removed at one or more
levels, followed by insertion of a bone graft where the disc(s) were
removed.  Over time these levels then fuse, leaving the patient with
limited motion at these segments.  The other approach is a posterior
decompression where the lamina (posterior arch of bone covering the
spinal cord) is removed, allowing for more room for the cord.  Which
of these approaches is used depends on the extent of disease, age of
the patient, etc.  Complications include infection, failure for the
bone to fuse, possible spinal instability, or direct damage to the
nerve roots or spinal cord.  These procedures are a routine part of
most Neurosurgeons' practices.  In general, the hospital stay is only
a couple of days, and the postop course depends on how much deficit
the patient had preop - weakness, etc.  Usually you need to wear a
cervical collar for several months.  Hope this helps....

On Tue, 09 Sep 1997 00:11:30 GMT, jana at pacificnet.net (Duke
Curlington) wrote:

>What can be done surgically for bulging cervical discs which are
>causing cord compression?  What are the complications of the surgery
>and the recovery time?  How is the patient impaired after the surgery?

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