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What are cervical implants?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-09-14      Origin: Site

Cervical implants are devices that surgeons use to decompress and stabilize the neck. These devices can be implanted from the front (front) of the spine or from the back (back).

Anterior Cervical Approach Implants

Interbody Cages or Spacers:

1. Maintain space between vertebrae .

2. Preserve spinal alignment .

3. Promote spinal fusion .

4.Cages and spacers are placed between 2 vertebrae

Cages come in different shapes and sizes; some are cylinder-shaped and others box-shaped. Cages are placed (fit) into the spine between vertebrae. Usually, cages are made from PEEK, metal, or plastic fiber.  During the months after surgery, the hope is the cage will allow (enhance) fusion between the vertebrae below and above. Fusion increases spinal stability.


Spacers are solid devices and bone cannot be packed inside. A spacer is used to help restore or correct spinal alignment.

Anterior Cervical Plates:

1. Increase cervical spine stability immediately after surgery.

2. Stabilize the cervical spine during healing.

3. Increase the chances for a successful solid fusion.

4. Help reduce the time the patient may need to wear a cervical collar after surgery.

Plates are made with screw holes through which screws are placed into the adjacent (to be fused) vertebral bodies to anchor the plates into proper position. Both plates and screws come in different designs and sizes. Most plates are made from metal (mainly titanium). Some plate designs are self-compressing to help promote spinal fusion.

Certain activities need to be limited or avoided during the first week or two after surgery:

  1. Excessive neck movements: Some surgeons may recommend a soft neck collar for the first few days after surgery to stabilize the neck and reduce excess movement,  most patients are advised to avoid extending the head and neck too far backward for the first couple weeks.

  2. Heavy lifting:Typically, lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk (about 8 pounds) is discouraged during the first couple weeks after surgery.

  3. Baths or other water submersion: Avoid submerging the incision site in water while the wound is still healing. Activities such as taking a bath, swimming, or sitting in a whirlpool increase the risk for infection.

  4. Driving: No driving is permitted until the patient has transitioned off opioids and any other medications that may cause drowsiness or impair reflexes. Neck mobility and pain must also be improved enough for safe driving.

  5. Running or other vigorous activities: Running, biking, and participating in sports are typically discouraged the first few weeks after cervical artificial disc replacement surgery.

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