Anaesthesia is administered, and the patient is positioned to give Dr Hsu or Dr Singh access to the back of the neck. They will then create a small incision to expose the vertebrae.
Cutting the Bone
Your NSWSS spinal surgeon uses a high-speed burr to cut a rectangular trough of bone from the vertebrae.
Removing the Lamina
Dr Hsu or Dr Singh will carefully remove the bone from the rear of the vertebrae, opening up the spinal canal to relieve pressure from the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Clearing Bone Spurs
Your NSWSS spinal surgeon will then inspect the spinal canal and foramen – the openings through which the nerve roots exit the spinal canal. Any bone spurs behind the spinal cord and nerve roots are cleared away.
Fusing the Vertebrae
Once all problem areas have been corrected, Dr Hsu or Dr Singh will create a fusion to stabilise the cervical spine. They will place screws in the vertebrae, and a burr is used to decorticate the joints. Rods are placed through the screws in the vertebrae, locking the spine in a natural position. In some cases, a bone graft may be placed in the facet joints to promote the growth of bone that will complete the fusion.
End of Procedure
After the spine is stabilised, the incision is closed. Drains may be inserted in the wound to prevent fluid buildup. You may require a cervical collar for a brief period after the procedure.