Area of Focus: Spine
Combined anterior interbody fusion and cervical discectomy is a surgical technique to treat a variety of cervical spine disorders, such as nerve root or spinal cord compression. This technique permits the surgeon to decompress the spinal cord and nerve roots and perform interbody fusion to provide segmental alignment in lordosis and solid arthrodesis with minimal surgical risk. The aim of this video is to show the anterior cervical discectomy and interbody fusion of a 55-year-old patient who was suffering from cervical pain associated with intractable radiculopathy of the left C6 root for six months. We took an anterior approach to the cervical spine and made a longitudinal skin incision on the medial border of the sternocleidomastoideus (SCM) muscle. We gently incised the platisma muscle and isolated the medial border of the SCM muscle. Then we isolated and partially retracted the homoyoid muscle and separated the longus colli to expose the C5-C6 space. We performed the discectomy, removed the posterior osteophyte, and removed the posterior longitudinal ligament expose the dural sac. With the arthroscope, it was possible to visualize and remove the posterior longitudinal ligament and expose the dura. We placed a 6-mm anatomic cage into the intervertebral space to achieve the correct height of the intervertebral space and correct the physiologic lordosis. Finally, we reattached the incised fascia and muscles. . Postoperative care consisted of having the patient wear a soft collar for four weeks and then undergo physiotherapy. Two-year clinical and radiographic follow-up demonstrated solid anterior interbody fusion of the C5-C6 space.
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