Your doctor has recommended surgery on your neck. This surgery is called an anterior and/or posterior cervical (SERV-uh-kol) fusion (FEW-zhun). Bone spurs or disks causing the problem in your neck will be removed. Your neck will then be secured, or fused, with bone from your hip. Sometimes a metal plate or wires are used to secure the fusion.
An incision (cut) will be made on either the front or the back of your neck (see the diagram below). The size of this incision will depend on the extent of your problem. A second incision will be made on either the front or the back of your hip (see the diagram). Bone will be removed from your hip and will be placed in your neck. The hip piece will be used to create a bone fusion. The surgery may take about three hours. The average length of stay in the hospital is two days.
Your incisions will probably be closed with stitches and may be secured with Steri-strip tapes, paper-like strips that stick to your skin and help keep the sides of the incision from shifting. The stitches will dissolve completely. The Steri-strips will fall off by themselves, usually within two weeks of surgery.
After the Operation :
After the operation, you will be given ice chips and clear liquids. When normal bowel function returns, you will be able to eat a regular diet. This usually occurs within two days. Your hip may feel sore for several weeks following surgery.
You will wear a Dennison brace or the Miami-J collar, which was placed on your neck during surgery, for about six weeks. Sometimes, with more complex surgery, you may be fitted for a halo brace. Your doctor or nurse will talk with you about the type of brace you will need. You will wear the brace or collar from the time of surgery until the doctor removes it. You will receive instructions about wearing your brace.
On your first day after surgery, you will be able to sit in a chair as often as you like. Physical therapy will begin on that day. A staff member or physical therapist will help you get a cane or walker if needed after surgery.
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