Cervical Fusion Rehab Protocol

"Can You Move Your Neck After A Cervical Fusion?"
by Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki

After cervical fusions, many patients will wonder, well, if my neck is fuzed, will I be able to move it? And the answer is yes, you can.

Most patients, especially for one or two-level fusion, won't even notice a difference in their neck motion. Their day-to-day looking up, down, left and right won't be different. And many patients actually will feel like they can move their neck more because the pain is now gone. So they have a bad disc herniation (between the C5 and C6), then if that level is fuzed, that pain can go away so they feel more mobility than they did previously.

So typically, neck fusions don't necessarily change your perceived motion. It does change motion at each segment that's fuzed. So when you measure it on X-rays, you can see less motion at those fuzed levels and sometimes excessive motion at the adjacent levels. But typically, especially lower down in the neck, motion loss is not detected. Now, that can change if you have a fusion higher up into the neck.

So the majority of your movement in your neck, up and down, comes actually between the skull and the first cervical vertebrae. At least fifty percent of this up and down motion comes from that. So if that level is fuzed, if you have a fusion up to the skull (which some patients with severe problems may need) those are patients who will lose most, if not all of their neck motion. But that's less typical.

More Videos by
Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki