Cervical Fusion

Prime Suspect: Stenosis

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can vary depending on the location and severity of the problem. Spinal stenosis can cause pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. Spinal stenosis in the lower back commonly causes sciatica, a sensation of burning pain that can travel through the buttocks and down the legs. Spinal stenosis can also cause problems with control of the bladder and bowels.

Surgery Overview: Cervical Laminectomy with Fusion

Sometimes, posterior cervical foraminotomy or artificial disc are not appropriate solutions for relieving pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. In this case, and anterior cervical discectomy, fusion and plating is the appropriate step. My guiding philosophy is to preserve as many mobile segments as possible. For the vast majority of cases a one or at most two level fusion is appropriate. It is a successful strategy that has been utilized for decades. It has been very well refined.


 I regularly perform this procedure as an outpatient. There is no need for collars in the postoperative period. Indeed, it is my recommendation that patients begin neck range of motion immediately.

  • Artificial Disc Replacement

    Artificial Disc Replacement

    An artificial cervical disc is a device inserted between two vertebrae in the neck to replace a damaged disc. It is best used for patients who are suffering from a herniated disc without much narrowing of the spine.

    Learn how you can begin to recover from an artificial disk replacement in less than 4 hours with Dr. Bookwalter.

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  • Cervical Fusion

    Cervical Fusion

    Though motion preservation is very important, there are times when cervical fusion is appropriate. One example is a during Laminectomy which removes a section of bone from the rear of one or more vertebrae to relieve the painful and disabling pressure of stenosis.

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  • Lumbar Microdiscectomy

    Lumbar Microdiscectomy

    A herniated disc is a common injury that can affect any part of the spine. A herniated disc can cause severe pain and other problems in the arms or legs.

    Discectomy is surgery to remove lumbar (low back) herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord . It tends to be done as microdiscectomy, which uses a special microscope to view the disc and nerves.

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  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

    Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

    Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within your spine. To the right you can see a healthy spine with lots of room for the spinal cord. When that room is filled in by calcium buildup and other factors the space around the spinal cord begins to close up. The buildup begins to put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine to your arms and legs. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck. Pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems with normal bladder or bowel function are all signs of Spinal Stenosis.

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  • Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy

    Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy

    This surgery removes bone and/or portions of a herniated or diseased disc to relieve neck and radiating arm pain caused by parts of the disc pressing on nerve roots.

    I am unique in using the lateral position for these procedures. This allows accurate localization and diminished soft tissue dissection. Generally this helps reduce the amount of postoperative discomfort patients experience.

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