Surgery to fuse the cervical spine

Surgery to fuse the cervical spine

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Credit: JOHN T. ALESI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Surgery to fuse the cervical spine. Labelled artwork of a posterior view of the cervical (neck) spine after surgery to fuse the spine and implant stabilizing rods. The X-ray at left shows a lateral (side) view of the rods after implantation. This operation is an example of internal fixation. In the artwork, the vertebrae are labelled (C1 to C7). Spinal rods have been implanted all the way from C1 to C7. The vertebrae from C1 to C4 have undergone a laminectomy, the removal of part of the lamina. The laminae are thin bony plates that form part of each each vertebra. Bone grafts (red) have also been used. The rods are held in place by pedicle screws.

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