Posterior cervical fixation is performed to address multitude of indications, including degenerative disc disease, dislocation, fractures, instability, or soft disc herniation.
In this procedure, the patient is lying face down and incisions are made down the middle of the back of the neck. To separate and hold the neck muscles, retractors are used. Some removal of impinging bone may be performed (laminectomy or facetectomy) if direct spinal cord or nerve root decompression is necessary.
Some instrumentation, which includes plates, rods and screws may be used. The muscles and tissues are put back in place and the skin is stitched together.
After physical assesment you shall be medically investigated for your spinal problem. Once investigations and medical assesement is completed your surgery shall be planned. You will be advised to get admitted on the day of surgery.
You and/ or your relative is explained the procedure in detail and consent is undertaken. Pre-anaesthesia checkup (PAC) is done. Intravenous line (IV) is given to provide fluids. You are shifted to OT for procedure. You are given anaesthesia before surgery. Post procedure, you will be moved to Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and once fully awake, you will be moved to hospital room. You shall be given a cervical collar or brace to provide support while your neck is healing.
You are monitored in the room and shall be given appropriate medication including pain relievers. You will undergo mild therapy to help heal and strengthen your cervical spine.
Pain management and physical therapy shall continue as per your medical status.
Discharge process is undertaken. You will be appraised about the post discharge exercises to be done at home and will also be explained about the discharge medication and follow up. You will be discharged in stable condition.
You shall be advised to visit the doctor after 7 days. You shall also be advised physical and occupational therapy to help restore you to your normal activities of daily living. Bending, twisting and lifting will be advised against for a period of time after surgery. You cannot drive a car until you are out of cervical collar, have sufficient neck range of motion to see while driving.
Follow up is necessary as then only it will be seen whether the recovery is taking place as usual or not. There may be need of extensive rehabilitation if the spinal cord was injured from a neck fracture. Physical therapy sessions should be attended by the patients for two-three months. Slowly, active treatments will be added that will stabilize your neck and upper back.