Cervical Corpectomy and Strut Graft

The cervical spine comprises the first 7 vertebrae of the spinal column. The vertebrae are separated from one another by shock absorbing pads called inter-vertebral discs. Over time, the discs can become worn out resulting in neck pain. Most patients with neck pain can be managed conservatively. However, surgery needs to be considered when the degenerative changes of the cervical spine exert excessive pressure on the spinal cord.

A cervical corpectomy and strut graft is a surgical procedure aimed at relieving the spinal cord compression by removal of the degenerated vertebrae and replacement with a bone graft. A corpectomy is indicated in compression of the spinal cord leading to spinal stenosis or cervical myelopathy.

How is the procedure performed?

Your surgeon will make an incision in the front of your neck to reach the cervical spine. An X-ray is taken to ensure the affected vertebrae and discs are located. Once confirmed, the affected vertebrae and discs are removed along with any bone spurs around the vertebrae.

A cervical fusion is performed after a corpectomy. In cervical fusion, the space left after removal of the vertebral body is reconstructed with a bone graft to provide stability to the spine. The graft may be taken either from the patient or another individual and is usually taken from the small bone in the leg. The graft holds the vertebrae apart while the healing occurs and the vertebrae fuse. A metal plate and screws are used to hold the vertebrae and the bone graft in place. Some patients are placed in a halo jacket to restrict the movement of the head during the healing process.

Some of the complications associated with corpectomy include subsequent pain, impaired healing, and a possible need for additional surgery.

Following surgery, patients will need to limit their activities to avoid strain on the healing vertebrae. Physical therapy may be initiated to improve neck strength and flexibility. The intensity of physical therapy may be increased after the cervical fusion has healed sufficiently.

  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital


    Ashford and St Peter’s
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Guildford Road, Cherstey,
    Surrey, KY16 0PZ.
    Ph: 01932 722 730
  • The BMI Runnymede Hospital


    The BMI
    Runnymede Hospital
    Guildford Road,
    Ottershaw, CHERTSEY,
    KT16 0RQ.
    Ph: 01932 877800
  • Spire St Anthony’s Hospital


    Spire St Anthony’s
    801 London Road,
    SM3 9DW.
    Ph: 020 8337 6691
  • Nuffield Health Woking Hospital


    Nuffield Health
    Woking Hospital
    Shores Road,
    GU21 4BY.
    Ph: 01483 331257
  • Ramsay Health Ashtead Hospital


    Ramsay Health
    Ashtead Hospital
    The Warren,
    Ashtead, Surrey.
    KT21 2SB.
    Ph: 01372 221400