Legal and Medical Resources for Cervical (Neck) Injuries and Cervical Fusion Surgery
You have probably reached this website because you or someone you know has suffered from a spinal injury or has spinal arthritis and you have been told that a cervical fusion is necessary. The term “cervical fusion” is also called a “cervical arthrodesis” and involves taking all the damaged parts of the cervical bones in the neck and fusing them together, reducing the chance that the bony pieces will rub together and cause pain.
During the surgery, doctors may remove one or more of the cervical vertebral discs to make room for a metallic device that connects the upper cervical vertebrae to the lower cervical vertebrae. Certainly there could be fusion between two cervical vertebrae or fusion between more cervical vertebrae. The more cervical vertebrae that are fused, the less movement you have of the neck.
Why have a cervical fusion?
Your doctor will recommend that you have a cervical fusion if you have had damage to your neck as a result of an accident such as a diving accident or other sporting accident, or a motor vehicle accident with a whiplash injury or a fracture of your cervical spine. These types of injuries can rupture a cervical disc or fracture one of the vertebrae (with or without dislocation of the fractured bones). The fusion is recommended because, even after a period of healing, turning the neck in some directions is really painful. The fusion is done in order to keep damaged parts of the cervical spine from rubbing against each other, causing pain.
Moveable damaged parts of the cervical spine can lead to tingling in the nerve that travels out to the arm, numbness of the nerve, or shooting pains down the arm because the nerve is pinched or rubs against a moveable part of the neck. Sometimes it is just better to fuse those segments of the cervical spine so that the secondary factors of pain, tingling, and numbness don’t happen.
Why might you need an attorney?
Most people don’t consciously choose to have the damage to their neck that needs a cervical fusion. Maybe the accident wasn’t your fault? Maybe the slow wear and tear on your neck was from a job you had? This when you need an attorney to sort things out and help you get compensation for your loss of function. Trust that your attorney will work for you so you don’t have the hard job of getting paid for your losses.