Cervical Stenosis Can Be Treated Without a Fusion
June 17, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Health NewsThe paper presented by Dr. Tony Mork at the The International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada was "Refuse to Fuse - When Possible" when treating the common problem of cervical stenosis. Stenosis is the general term for narrowing of bony tunnels that allow the passage of nerves. When these tunnels are narrowed the nerves that pass through them can become compressed causing pain, weakness, and numbness in the shoulders, arms and hands. Common causes of narrowing are bone spurs, arthritis, and disc herniation. The paper reviewed the the short and long term complications associated with the traditional treatment of cervical (neck) stenosis which is a fusion and his endoscopic approach which does not use a fusion.
One surprising long term problem with the fusion approach is the premature breakdown of the discs in the neck that were not fused. These adjacent discs degenerated at a rate of 25% more often than normal 10 years after the fusion. Dr. Mork presented a paper that showed an endoscopic technique that decompressed the area of cervical stenosis without the need for a fusion. In addition, there were no problems with swallowing or hoarseness since the endoscopic procedure was performed from the back of the neck, as opposed to the traditional approach of operating through the front of the neck.
Dr. Mork thought it best to "Refuse to fuse, when possible". For more information see www.DrTonyMork.com or see his You Tube channel, DrTonyMork.