Spinal fusion neck surgery is a procedure to join two bones in the neck, according to WebMD. The surgeon may perform the fusion by using bone grafts, metal plates or implants to hold the bones in place while they grow together.
Options for spinal fusion surgery include operating from the front or back of the neck, indicates WebMD. During the surgery, the doctor may remove a vertebra disc before joining the bones. While the fusion eliminates motion in between the fused vertebra, it usually does not hinder motion in the neck.
Doctors perform spinal fusion in the neck to stabilize the joint after injuries, infections or tumors, reports WebMD. They may also use the surgery to bring relief to a pinched nerve that affects the arm. Most people sense an immediate relief of the symptoms of the pinched nerve after surgery; however, less invasive therapy for a pinched nerve often brings similar relief.
The surgical procedure usually requires patients to spend one to two days in the hospital, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. They begin walking and eating on the first day. They may require a cervical collar for a short while after surgery. After a month to six weeks, they begin range-of-motion exercises and return to full activities three to four months post-op.