My New Neck
My new neck, after a unique hybrid procedure involving a corpectomy, fusion and artificial disc replacement (ADR). My spine is fused from C3-C5. Typical fusions involve removing the intervertebral discs in the spine, called a discectomy, and then implanting a bone graft in their place. I had 2 discs removed, C3/4 & C4/5. But because I had originally fractured my C4 and it had been left diseased and undiagnosed for five years, I had to have my entire C4 vertebral body taken out as well, this is called a corpectomy. In the void created by the removed vertebrae and two discs, they implanted an Athlet synthetic vertebra with a cage inside of it, filled with a bone growth substitute called Kianos. Overtop of this fusion, at the front of my spine (anterior) they used a titanium plate and 5 screws to fasten everything together and offer support as the bone growth filler, implants and my healthy bone slowly fuse together over the next few years, effectively recreating my spine.
Below my fusion I had another disc removed at C5/6 and replaced with a Spinal Kinetics M6-C artificial disc. This has allowed me to retain a significant amount of mobility in my neck.
This surgery is so incredible because it has stabilized my spinal column and halted it from "buckling" the wrong way (kyphosis) and damaging my spinal cord. I have had all of my herniated discs, bone spurs and diseased bone removed - relieveing the pressure on my spinal nerves. My neck is now stabilized, and decompressed, giving me a chance to not only halt further deterioration, but actually regain both mobility and a relatively pain free life in time!