Pediatric cervical spine surgery

Paediatric cervical spine surgery is a treatment used for treating children with injuries or abnormalities in the neck region of the spine. Cervical spine disorders may be seen at birth (congenital) or from an accident or other injuries.

Pediatric cervical spine surgery

Who Needs Paediatric Cervical Spine Surgery?

Your neurosurgeon may recommend this surgery for a child with cervical spine injury or abnormality. The neurosurgeon will remove the bony structures or abnormalities to help avert loss of nerve function, chronic pain and deformity. The surgeon will straighten the crooked cervical spine. This surgery also helps to correct instability between the bones, which may damage the spinal cord. Metal implants like rods and screws may be used to treat cervical spine problems.

How is Paediatric Cervical Spine Surgery Performed?

During the procedure the child will be put under general anaesthesia If the child has any instability prior to the surgery, then a cervical collar or halo ring is placed to maintain the spine stable. This doesn’t need anaesthesia. The surgeon reaches the spinal cord or brainstem via an incision in the back of the neck, but occasionally an incision is done in the back of the neck or mouth. Then the surgeon will remove the bony structures or small pieces of bone that are pressing the child’s spinal cord. If the spine is unstable, then the surgeon may place plates, screws, or wires with bone graft to stabilize it.


This surgery may take 4 to 6 weeks for the child to get back to regular activities. Post-surgery, your doctor may advise the child to get physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the neck and back.

The child has to stay in the hospital for about two to four days. However, it will take at least four to six weeks after which the child can resume light activities. Complete recovery takes three months.

The possible risks of paediatric cervical spine surgery include neck pain, bleeding, and spinal cord injury.

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