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Friday, April 18, 2014
Spine and Back Health
I was recentely told that my 5yr old son has 3 fused vertebrae in his neck and cannot turn his neck to the right and only slightly to the left (this has been the case since birth after years of unnecessary physio for a muscle problem that did not exist!). I am awaiting results of an MRI scan and would like to know is there any kind of corrective surgery and the risks involved as I am researching at the minute to prepare myself for the results of the scan.
Hello, thank you for your question. There are far too many variables in a complex situation like this for me to be able to answer your question, unfortunately. A lot depends on the scan results, of course. Corrective surgery is rarely done when the main issue is limitation of range of motion. Congenital ( = “something you are born with”) fusion of the vertebrae is usually left alone unless the abnormality is causing significant pain or is causing impingement on the spinal cord or nerves. As I said, though, these are always complex situations that require individual assessment by a specialist. Good luck.
David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University