In the cervical spine (neck), surgery is often performed via the posterior approach to address a multitude of indications, including degenerative disc disease, dislocation, fractures, instability, or soft disc herniation. Your physician may determine that the PCF procedure is a good option for you if you require an interbody fusion, are skeletally mature, and have gone through six weeks of non-surgical treatment.
Conversely, your physician may determine that a PCF procedure is not a good option for you if you are not a good candidate for fusion surgery in general due to other medical conditions. These conditions may be associated with a poor tolerance with regard to general anesthesia, inability to tolerate a prone position, and inadequate bone quality preventing adequate fixation of the instrumentation, as well as other indications. It is important to discuss this with your physician in order to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Are there risks involved?
Keep in mind that all surgery presents risks and complications that are important to discuss with your physician prior to your surgery. Listening to your physician’s guidance both before and after surgery will help to ensure the best possible outcome from your procedure.
Risks associated with PCF include: axial neck pain, morbidity (incidence of disease), stiffness, loss of range of motion, paralysis, bleeding requiring a blood transfusion, failure of the fusion, failure of the instrumentation, nerve root injury and dural tears.