Some types of neck injuries from an auto accident may require neck fusion surgery which may involve a long rehabilitation period.
An auto accident can cause several types of serious injuries, which may require surgery to heal completely. When the neck suffers a serious impact in an auto accident, the discs or bones can get damaged or disjointed. In some cases, this type of neck injury may require neck fusion surgery to join the bones back together. The neck fusion surgery is successful in most cases, but involves a long rehabilitation period and can be quite expensive.
When Is a Neck Fusion Surgery Necessary after a Car Accident?
Neck fusion is a type of surgery that involves a variety of techniques to rejoin the bones together. In the case of a high impact collision, the discs can become dislocated or dislodged, and the disc material can slip out of the disc. When the discs or bones get misaligned, they can put significant pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, and lead to a lot of pain and discomfort.
Usually, neck fusion follows some other surgical procedures including:
- Laminectomy that involves removal of the lamina
- Discectomy in which a part or all of a spinal disc is removed
These surgical techniques are used to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord, and after these surgeries, the joints can be fused together using a bone graft. The graft is usually taken from a bone in the pelvis. Surgical hardware such as screws and rods are also used to keep the bones in place to aid in healing.
Rehabilitation After Neck Fusion
Patients who undergo neck fusion surgery have to go through long and expensive rehabilitation. The patient may need to spend 3-4 days in the hospital, but some people may have to spend a longer period of time depending on how they respond to the procedure.
Elderly people or those who have undergone an extensive surgical procedure may have to spend a few days in a rehabilitative unit of the hospital before they are allowed to go home. The patient may start seeing some signs of healing in about 6 weeks, but may still not be able to move properly. It may take 3-4 months to heal significantly, and the total healing process may last as long as a year.
It is important to follow the instructions of the doctor in order to heal completely and quickly. Adequate rest, proper diet and the right medication can help one to recover fast.
In some cases, the patient who undergoes neck fusion may face some complications such as rejection of bone graft, abnormal bleeding, blood clots and infection, injury to surrounding nerves, fusion failure, and extensive pain and suffering. These complications may require further treatment and even a second surgery.
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