The cervical spine is the top seven vertebra which make up the neck. Pain here may result from a herniated disc or bony outgrowths (bone spurs or osteophytes) which can form when joints calcify in the spine. This nerve root compression, the source of the pain, can be relieved with an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion.
Anterior means front and the operation involves a small incision made near the front of the neck, through which the surgeon can remove the intervertebral disc – and, in some cases, a portion of the bone around the nerve roots and/or spinal cord - to access and remove the compressed neural structures, thereby relieving pressure.
Sometimes the space between the vertebrae is left open, or a cage is placed between the adjacent vertebrae to maintain the normal height of the disc space. A cage usually with BMP, bone morphogenic protein is placed between two or more opposing vertebrae to promote spinal fusion (bone growth between the vertebral bodies). Surgeons use these implants to decrease the amount of time that the patient wears a cervical collar after surgery and to increase the chances of developing a solid fusion.
Post operation you may need to wear a soft collar when you are sitting and mobilising.
You will not be able to drive for 2 weeks as you will be unsafe using your mirrors and performing an emergency stop.
Your wound will have been closed with steristrips, these need to remain in position until 10 days post surgery when they can be removed. The wound can be left uncovered now and you can get it wet.
You should refrain from lifting anything over 3 kg in weight until your follow up appointment