The cervical spine is comprised of seven vertebrae: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, and C7. These vertebrae begin at the base of the skull and extend down to the thoracic spine. The cervical vertebrae have cylindrical bones that lie in front of the spinal cord and stack up one on top of the other to make one continuous column of bones in the neck.
Some common procedures for treating cervical disorders include:
- Disc replacement
In artificial disk replacement, worn or damaged disk material between the small bones in the spine (vertebrae) is removed and replaced with a synthetic or "artificial" disk. The goal of the procedure is to relieve back pain while maintaining more normal motion than is allowed with some other procedures, such as spinal fusion.
- Spinal fusion (anterior and posterior)
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to correct problems with the small bones in the spine (vertebrae). It is essentially a "welding" process. The basic idea is to fuse together two or more vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone.
Foraminotomy is a medical operation used to relieve pressure on nerves that are being compressed by the intervertebral foramina, the passages through the bones of the vertebrae of the spine that pass nerve bundles to the body from the spinal cord.
A laminectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina, which is the roof of the spinal canal.
Laminoplasty is an orthopaedic/neurosurgical surgical procedure for treating spinal stenosis by relieving pressure on the spinal cord. The main purpose of this procedure is to provide relief to patients who may suffer from symptoms of numbness, pain, or weakness in arm movement.