Many cervical problems are due to degenerative changes that occur in the discs and joints of the neck. These changes commonly take place as a natural part of aging and from the affects of daily wear and tear on the parts of the spine. Degenerative changes in the neck sometimes lead to a serious condition where pressure is put on the spinal cord. An effective procedure for removing the pressure on the spinal cord due to spinal stenosis is to remove one or several vertebral bodies to take pressure off the spinal cord. The procedure is called a corpectomy. Corpus means "body" and ectomy means "remove." The discs between the vertebrae are also removed.
After removal of the vertebral body (or bodies), a cervical fusion is performed. When the bodies of one or more vertebrae are taken out, a bone graft is inserted to fill the space. As the bone graft heals, it fuses to the intact vertebrae above and below it. The bone graft provides structural support to the cervical spine.