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C6-c7 Surgery Success Rate

Get The Information You Need Before Your Revision Neck Surgery


Among the best ways to position yourself for surgical success is to know what to expect from your procedure and the recovery. If you need a revision neck surgery to treat your failed back surgery, asking as many questions as you can before your procedure will help ensure you have a clear understanding of the procedure. Here are some good examples:

  • Why do I need this type of neck surgery?

  • What outcomes should I expect from my surgery?

  • Whats the success rate of my revision neck surgery?

  • Are there any non-surgical treatments that I havent yet explored that I should try first?

  • What are the benefits and risks of having this neck operation?

Undergoing a revision neck surgery after failed back surgery can be a daunting, frustrating experience. But keeping the communications lines open with your surgeon will help ensure that youre on the same page and on the same teamand that can only improve your chances of success.

More on this topic

Reference:1. Daniell JR, Osti OL. Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: A Review Article. Asian Spine J. 2018 12: 372379. Published online April 16, 2018. doi:.

Amirdelfan K, Webster L, Poree L, Sukul V, McRoberts P. Treatment Options for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome Patients With Refractory Chronic Pain: An Evidence Based Approach. Spine. 2017 42:S41S52. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002217.

Daniell JR, Osti OL. Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: A Review Article. Asian Spine J. 2018 12: 372379. Published online April 16, 2018. doi:.

The Benefits And Risks In Summary

As stated earlier in this article. There are patients who do very well with cervical fusion surgery. Some report 100% improvement some report close to 100% improvement. Others get some improvement and they are happy with that. As in any medical treatment, there has to be a realistic understanding of what the benefit may or may not be.

Here is an August 2020 paper published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research. It gives a surgeons view of the realities of fusion surgery:

For patients with two-level symptomatic adjacent segment disease, both anterior and posterior decompression and fusion were effective for improving the neurological function. For patients with radicular symptoms, Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion surgery had less surgical trauma, better restoration of lordosis, and less postoperative neck pain, but a higher chance of recurrent adjacent segment disease. Posterior decompression and fusion was an effective surgical option for older patients with myelopathy developing in adjacent segments.

When you have fusion you can develop adjacent segment disease over the years and the challenges they bring are things to be considered when the first surgery is suggested.

Recovery After Acdf Surgery

Pain is to be expected after spinal surgery your doctor may prescribe medications to help you find relief along with at-home pain management remedies such as using ice packs. After your procedure, you will be required to wear a cervical collar to limit mobility and provide support during recovery.

Because the neck is a very complex part of the body, recovery times vary between patients. Some factors that impact recovery time include your overall health and lifestyle choices, complications during or after the procedure and how closely you follow your recovery instructions.

Typically, patients make a full recovery within two to six weeks. After you recover from anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery, you should be able to resume regular activity with your range of motion impacted minimally, if at all. You should expect to experience pain relief and as a result, improved quality of life.

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The Need For Painkillers After Surgery Is A Dangerous Need

Here is a disturbing study from July 2019 published in the journal Pain Research & Management.

  • Worldwide, 80% of patients who undergo surgery receive opioid analgesics as the fundamental agent for pain relief. However, the irrational use of opioids leads to excessive drug dependence and drug abuse, resulting in an increased mortality rate. . .
  • Sensory dysfunction is a common symptom of neuropathic pain. Nerve injury as a result of surgical manipulation is a leading cause of neuropathic pain after surgery.

In the April 2019 issue of Lancet, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard wrote that excessive prescribing of opioids for pain treatment after surgery has been recognized as an important concern for public health and a potential contributor to patterns of opioid misuse and related harm.

As mentioned above, when your cervical vertebrae are fused to limit cervical instability and related symptoms, the force and energy in your neck movements are transferred to the vertebrae below the fusion and above the fusion. This is why people suffer from the same symptom at different locations a year to 3 years later. This is why many people are sent back to surgery to fuse more segments and why many get the symptoms back and they can even be worse. Lets explore research from some of the leading universities and research hospitals that support these findings.

How Common Is Failed Back Surgery

Injuries to the Cervical Spine

Failed back surgery is relatively common but not because the surgeon performed the procedure incorrectly. Back surgery can only accomplish two goals: decompressing a pinched nerve root or stabilizing a painful joint. If a pinched nerve or painful joint is the source of a patients pain, a doctor may be able to address the issue with surgery.

However, it can be challenging to identify and diagnose one of these factors before surgery. One of the most common reasons back surgery doesnt work is because the surgery selected does not address the source of a patients pain. Considering appropriate non-surgical measures before surgery can help you avoid a costly procedure that does not adequately address back pain.

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Whats The Purpose Of A Revision Surgery After Failed Back Surgery

Besides treating a specific cervical spine problem , revision neck surgery after FBS usually involves:

  • Stabilization reducing movement of a disc space or joint to reduce to pain.

Basics of decompression cervical spine surgeryDuring cervical spine decompression surgery, the surgeon either removes spinal structures that are pressing on spinal nerves, or he or she physically widens the area around the spinal nerve root.

Examples of decompression surgeries include:

  • removing bone and disc that presses on a nerve as it leaves the spinal canal either on the right or left side.

  • – removing the midline area bone posteriorly and giving the central spinal canal more space.

  • removing the disc. In the cervical spine, discectomies are the most commonly done surgeries and typically done from the front. Also known as an anterior cervical discectomy.

Basics of stabilization cervical spine surgeryThe goal of stabilization spine surgery is to limit abnormal motion between spinal bones . When the vertebrae move more than they should, they can damage the spinal cord and other nerve structuresand this can cause serious complications . In the past when a disc was removed anteriorly, stabilization with a fusion surgery was required but now options include placement of an artificial cervical disc.

Complexities Of Measuring Cervical Range Of Motion

There are many reasons that cervical range of motion measurements vary in the medical literatureboth for healthy and fused cervical spines. Some examples include:

While the specifics of cervical range of motion can be complicated, most fusion surgery patients can safely ignore those details and focus on regaining enough neck mobility to return to a high quality of life.

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Different Types Of Neck Surgery

Depending on the cause of the neck pain, different surgical procedures are available. In almost all cases, however, the surgery will allow a specialist to get to the root of the pain, identifying the problem, taking that out if appropriate, and replacing it with an implant, device, or other tool to prevent the pain from returning.

Typically, you will only have to stay in the hospital for a short period of time after having surgery. However, that does not mean you will have recovered as soon as you return home. Rather, your neck surgery recovery time may be significantly extended and you must make sure that you follow the post-operative instructions that your physician gave you so that your wounds can heal.

In most cases, surgery is performed in order to address problems with one or more nerves within the spine. The spinal cord contains many different nerves at each level and they may become irritated or compressed if there is an abnormality within the spine.

Usually, this is down to an issue with your discs, which are jelly-like, soft structures within your spine, effectively cushioning the bones that make up the spine. They can be displaced or they can degenerate, which in turn causes irritation and/or compression on the nerve.

Alternatively, the foramen can tighten, which can also cause significant pain. The most commonly offered procedures, which all address the aforementioned issues, are:

How Do I Get Ready For Cervical Disk Replacement Surgery


Ask your health care provider to tell you what you should do before your surgery. Below is a list of some common steps that you may be asked to do.

  • Tell your surgeon about any medications you take at home including herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications. You may be asked to stop taking aspirin or other medications that thin your blood and may increase bleeding.

  • Tell your surgeon if you or someone in your family has any history of reaction to general anesthesia.

  • If you smoke, you may be asked to stop smoking well before surgery and avoid smoking for a time after surgery.

  • Before surgery you will probably be given instructions on when to stop eating and drinking. Its common to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the night before the procedure.

  • Ask your surgeon if you should take your regular medications with a small sip of water on the day of the procedure.

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What Surgery Is Done For A Bulging Disc

Discectomy as a Surgical Treatment Option for Bulging Disc: Another important surgery done for a bulging disc is discectomy. This procedure involves the removal of a portion of the bulged disc in order to relive the pressure on the nerve that causes weakness or tremendous pain.

How long does a bulging disc take to heal?

The primary question that comes to mind of an individual with a bulging disc mind is that how long will it take for the bulging disc to heal. For some individuals it may take up to a year or two to completely recover from disc bulge while it may take far less time for another individual to recover from the same injury.

How can a bulging disc heal itself?

One of the things your body needs to heal a bulging disc is to increase the space between the vertebrae , which can encourage the bulged nucleus to return to its proper place. This also helps to rehydrate the disc, which promotes the natural healing of the area. This space increasing will also relieve your lower back pain.

How to reverse bulging discs?

Leons Notes: Theres some research showing that a bulging disc can in fact be reversed with exercise and posture modifications . Meaning you could actually push back the disc material, so it doesnt bulge. With most bulging discs in the lower back, you want to use an extension based exercise programs.

Fusion Surgerys Effect On Normal Neck Movements

Depending on how the measurements are done, between one-third and one-half of the necks forward/backward and rotational motions occur at the top two levels .2,3

See The C1-C2 Vertebrae and Spinal Segment

However, most fusion surgeries in the cervical spine occur in one or more of the lower levels . As such, a one- or two-level fusion in the lower cervical spine has little impact on the necks overall range of motion because the most mobile joints in the neck are not the ones fused.

See All About the C6-C7 Spinal Motion Segment

Furthermore, most routine activities throughout the day only involve a fraction of the necks total range of motion. Even in rare cases where three or four levels of the lower cervical spine are fused, less than 25% of the necks overall mobility would be lost and this would not affect a persons ability to perform most daily tasks.4 For any daily task that might be somewhat affected, adjustments could be made for getting them done. For example, instead of bending all the way down to tie shoes, the foot could be lifted further up.

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What Is An Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

Discectomy literally means “cutting out the disc.” A discectomy can be performed anywhere along the spine from the neck to the low back . The surgeon reaches the damaged disc from the front of the spine through the throat area. By moving aside the neck muscles, trachea, and esophagus, the disc and bony vertebrae are exposed. Surgery from the front of the neck is more accessible than from the back because the disc can be reached without disturbing the spinal cord, spinal nerves, and the strong neck muscles. Depending on your particular symptoms, one disc or more may be removed.

After the disc is removed, the space between the bony vertebrae is empty. To prevent the vertebrae from collapsing and rubbing together, a spacer bone graft is inserted to fill the open disc space. The graft serves as a bridge between the two vertebrae to create a spinal fusion. The bone graft and vertebrae are fixed in place with metal plates and screws. Following surgery the body begins its natural healing process and new bone cells grow around the graft. After 3 to 6 months, the bone graft should join the two vertebrae and form one solid piece of bone. The instrumentation and fusion work together, similar to reinforced concrete.

Bone grafts come from many sources. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.

How Much Neck Mobility Is Lost After Fusion Surgery


ACDF is a common surgical procedure used to treat cervical herniated discs, cervical degenerative disc disease, and cervical spinal stenosis. Watch:Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Video

This surgery typically involves reducing pressure on the affected spinal nerve and stabilizing at least part of the cervical spine by fusing vertebral bones together at one or more cervical levels. It is almost always done in combination with a discectomy, so it is most commonly referred to as an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, or ACDF for short.

See Potential Risks and Complications of ACDF Surgery

While neck fusion has a good record of eliminating or reducing neck-related arm pain, tingling, and weakness, many patients want to know how much neck mobility might be lost when one or more mobile joints in the neck are fused solidand whether that can impact quality of life. This article examines those concerns and highlights realistic expectations for neck mobility after various types of neck fusion surgeries.

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Surgical Treatment For C6

Cervical spine surgery may be considered as a treatment of last resort in cases when a nerve root or spinal cord compression causes or worsens neurological deficits. A few examples include worsening numbness and/or weakness in the arm or problems with walking or coordination. Surgery may also be performed to improve stability of the neck after severe fracture or dislocation.

See Surgery for Neck Pain

Common surgeries performed in the C6-C7 motion segment include:

  • Surgery to remove all or part of a disc. Removal of a herniated or degenerated disc may help relieve pressure on compressed nerve roots, reducing radicular pain. Disc surgeries include:
  • Cervical artificial disc replacement
  • Posterior cervical decompression

While some procedures involve removal of a portion of the disc, most cervical spine surgeries include removal of the entire disc and replacement with a bone graft or artificial disc. The adjacent vertebrae may be fused with plates and screws following the disc procedure.

  • Surgery on the vertebrae. Removal of portions of overgrown bone and/or removing part of a vertebra may help relieve pressure on compressed nerves. A few examples of surgeries on the vertebrae are:
  • Clinical Outcomes After Four

    • Open AccessJan 2021
    • Free accessAug 2012
    • Open AccessSep 2019
    • Open AccessMar 2019
    • SAGE Sourcebook of Modern Biomedical Devices: Business Environments in a Global Market2007
    • SAGE Sourcebook of Modern Biomedical Devices: Business Environments in a Global Market2007
    • SAGE KnowledgeLiterature review
    • SAGE Sourcebook of Modern Biomedical Devices: Business Environments in a Global Market2007
    • SAGE Research MethodsCase

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    C5 Palsy And Other Post

    New postoperative neurologic deficits following PCF was found to occur in about 8.5% of patients . The most common deficit is C5 palsy, which manifests as weakness of the deltoid and/or biceps brachii muscles, with or without concomitant shoulder pain and sensory deficits. Even though about 96% of patients with minor palsies and 71% with severe palsies fully recover eventually, this is a dreaded complication due to its significant impact to the patientâs quality of life, and its highly variable time to recovery. One study has estimated time to recovery ranging from 48 hours to 41 months .

    C5 palsy affects between 6.7% and 9.5% of patients following PCF, with a recent systematic review by Pan et al. finding an average of 7.8% incidence across 28 studies . The etiology of this complication is not clear, but it has historically been attributed to iatrogenic injury, spinal cord ischemia and subsequent reperfusion injury, or tethering of the nerve from shifting of the spinal cord . The development of C5 palsy has been associated with greater than 5-fold odds of in-hospital mortality and greater than 2-fold odds of morbidity .

    Ssi Incidence And Prevention

    Neck surgery and recovery ACDF of C6-C7

    SSI is among the most common postoperative complications associated with PCF. Systemic antibiotic therapy and surgical wound debridement are often necessary. Infections within the acute to subacute postoperative period are typically caused by skin flora, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and group A Streptococcus. Late presenting infections can be caused by other skin flora with lower virulence, such as Propionibacterium. Gramnegative bacilli, including Klebsiella, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas, and Proteus, are uncommon pathogens but can be found in intravenous drug users .

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