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Cervical Fusion as a Treatment Option for Back and Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are some of the most common injuries that occur in accidents in Atlanta. Cervical sprain and strain, for instance, is one of the most common neck injuries in an accident. These typically occur during car wrecks when someone is rear-ended in the collision. As a result of impact, the person’s head snaps backward and then forward again, with great force. This can cause muscle and ligament tears or, even worse, a cervical disc injury.

Neck pain can also be caused by a spinal injury in an accident. The intervertebral disc can herniate, and this can lead to constant neck pain which can radiate through the shoulders, arms and down the back. Such neck pain can be treated through a cervical fusion surgery.

In this procedure, the doctor will make a small incision in your neck to access the cervical spine, which consists of seven bones. He will then separate the soft tissues of the neck to remove the bone spurs and intervertebral disc. The bone spurs are tough ends of bone that develop around the herniated disc. He will then fill the space between the vertebrae with a small piece of bone. If the operation is successful, the vertebrae in the neck will ultimately fuse together over time.

The piece of bone for the graft can be either removed from the body, from your hip for example, or may be obtained from a bone bank. There is little chance of rejection because the bone does not contain blood cells. Both of these choices have their plusses and minuses, so the choice is an individual one for sure.

The procedure can take between 2 to 4 hours. Recovery may generally take between four and six weeks. Your recovery may be speeded up if you are a non-smoker. Smoking seems to inhibit bone growth. You may also be required to wear a neck brace while you recover from the surgery in order to stabilize your neck and allow fusion to take place. There may also be some difficulties in speaking and swallowing. For the surgery to be successful, it’s very important that the patient take great care during the recovery process and fully participate in post-surgery physical therapy, which can be draining. While physical therapy can span months and can tend to be tedious and monotonous, even the finest surgical fusion will have little chance of success without a successful physical therapy regimen.

Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.