What is a Lateral Mass Screw Fixation?
Lateral mass screw fixation is a procedure to realign and stabilise adjacent cervical vertebra. It involves a bone graft being placed between the vertebrae. This will fuse over three months to turn the adjacent vertebrae into one solid bone. While the bone is fusing, it is held in place by metal screws and rods.
This is done as an adjunct to a nerve or spinal cord decompression procedure to maintain stability in the neck and prevent the progression of later deformity.
This surgery is recommended if diseased bone or damaged joints in the neck are causing neck pain or placing pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots. This then causes pain, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs.
Common reasons are:
- Degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Traumatic fracture
- Congenital malformations.
The goal of a cervical lateral mass screw fixation is to stabilize the spine, when it has been de-stabilized by an another surgical procedure, or by trauma.