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About the Procedure

Anterior Cervical Fusion: An outpatient surgical treatment to relieve pressure on the spinal cord

Green Bay, WI--- On May 4th at 4:00 CDT, Surgeons will perform a anterior cervical fusion on a patient suffering from pressure on the spinal cord; the patient will go home the same day.

Anterior cervical fusion is a surgical treatment performed on the upper spine to relieve pressure on one or more nerve roots, or on the spinal cord. This pressure can be caused by the rupture of an intervertebral disc or by bony overgrowth associated with arthritic changes. When these conditions develop in the cervical spine, they can put pressure on one or more nerve roots that provide motion and sensation to the arms which can then cause pain, weakness and numbness in the neck and or arms. These conditions can also cause compression of the spinal cord itself, resulting in pain, weakness, gait disturbances and other symptoms including bowel or bladder problems. Disc problems or the formation of bone spurs may be caused by a traumatic accident, sports injury or repetitive stress such as lifting excessive weight improperly. In this outpatient operation, a surgeon reaches the cervical spine through a small incision in the front of the neck. After the muscles of the spine are spread, an intervertebral disc is removed, any bone spurs are also removed and the disc is replaced with a small plug of bone, which in time will fuse to the vertebrae it lies between. Generally, most patients are able to return to normal, but non-vigorous activities, within a few days (24-72) hours – including employment for those people who don't do heavy labor.

Anterior Cervical Fusion will be the focus of a live webcast, hosted by Aurora BayCare Medical Center from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, May 4. Steven S. Weinshel, MD, will perform the procedure. Expert commentary throughout the broadcast will be provided by BayCare Clinic neurosurgeons including Max Ots, MD; Richard Harrison, MD; Mark Gardon, MD; and Paul Baek, MD. BayCare Clinic neurosurgeons are on staff at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Besides the live commentary during the procedure, the web broadcast will include a pre-taped segment demonstrating the anterior cervical fusion procedure and will feature internet audience participation through a live question/answer session. Patients of Aurora BayCare Medical Center will also share their perspectives on the recovery process. Physicians, patients seeking treatment options for back and neck pain, community leaders, researchers, university faculty, human resource managers and community members are encouraged to participate in this live surgical web cast.

According to Jeff Mason, CEO of BayCare Clinic, “The internet improves how Aurora BayCare connects physicians to patients. It enables powerful interactive discussions, access and visibility to ground breaking surgical procedures that can help our community develop a better understanding of treatment options.”

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is a 167-bed, full service tertiary hospital that performs more than 800 spine surgeries annually, equivalent to 74% of Brown County’s market share. “ Aurora BayCare Medical Center has become a destination hospital for traumatic injury, brain and spine surgery,” says Linda Smith, administrator at Aurora BayCare Medical Center. “Our statistics and patient outcomes indicate that we are a regional leader in neuroscience.”

Aurora BayCare Medical Center has selected live web casting as a strategic medium to build its platform for regional and national education of clinicians, patients and consumers. A joint effort of Aurora Health Care and BayCare Clinic, Aurora BayCare Medical Center is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is comprised of 100 specialty physicians with expertise in more than 20 specialties. BayCare Clinic physicians have served patients in the surrounding region for over 25 years.

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