Posterior Cervical


Learn About Posterior Cervical Fusion

Occipital-Cervical-Thoracic (OCT) Spinal Fixation allows for stabilization and fusion of the cervical spine and the occipito-cervico-thoracic junctions (occiput-T3). CoreLink offers a Tiger OCT System for these procedures that can also connect to the CoreLink Tiger Spine System.

Common Causes and Symptoms

This approach may be used for cases of congenital deformity, trauma, tumor, or severe rheumatoid arthritis.


Spondylolisthesis is the forward motion (or slip) of one vertebral body over the one below it. This can be caused by a traumatic accident or from degenerative disc disease (DDD). DDD can cause vertebral displacement with vertebral bodies slipping forward, backwards, or loss of disc height.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is attributed to age and general wear and tear that presents in the disc area with herniated discs or osteophytes (bone spurs). These can cause collapse and pressure on the nerve roots and/or spinal cord. In the cervical spine, this occurs most often at the C5-C6 and C6-C7 levels as discs tend to wear out in places where a flexible region of the spine meets and ridged version.


Trauma in the cervical spine can take many forms and can involve bone, ligaments, or a combination of the two. A compression fracture is a flexion injury, where multiple fragments of bone can be produced, some of which can be displaced into the spinal canal and compress the spinal cord. Extension injuries in the mid-cervical spine can cause disruption of the disc and anterior longitudinal ligament with some displacement of vertebrae.

Revisions of Previous Cervical Spine Surgery

If a prior surgery did not result in fusion, or pseudarthrosis, then a revision may be necessary.


A spinal tumor may require the need for stabilization with an OCT system.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal starts to narrow. When the spinal canal narrows, the open spaces between the vertebrae may also start to get smaller and this tightness can pinch the spinal cord or the nerves around it. For most, the stenosis results from changes due to arthritis, but may also be due to ossification (bone formation), osteophytes (bony projections), herniated discs, injuries, or tumors. Symptoms may include pain, tingling, and numbness.


Depending on the issue, a posterior cervical fusion may be an option when non-surgical techniques do not relieve symptoms. The primary goals are to provide stability and fusion.

Speak with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms or for more information.

If you are a surgeon or distributor interested in CoreLink products, please contact us.

Possible Risks

There are possible risks involved with any surgical procedure. Reasonable expectations and compliance with the surgeon’s pre and post-operative instructions are vital. All aspects of any potential surgery should be thoroughly discussed with your healthcare provider.

Risks associated with posterior cervical procedures include:

  • General adverse effects related to surgical procedures, such as bleeding, infection, blood clots, or allergic reactions
  • Failure of adequate fusion to occur
  • Nerve injury

It is important to discuss these and all other aspects of any potential surgery with your physician.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions for this procedure. 

What is a cervical fusion vs. a discectomy?

In an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) surgery, a herniated or degenerative disc is removed in the cervical spine. This can relieve arm pain and weakness from a pinched nerve root. In this procedure, a part or the whole disc is first removed through a process called a discectomy. Click here to learn more. 

What is the difference between anterior and posterior cervical fusion?

It’s how you approach the spine. An Anterior Cervical Fusion approaches the spine from the front (anterior) of the body, while a Posterior Cervical Fusion approaches from the back (posterior) of the body. Click here to learn more.

What are spine biologics?

Spine biologics provide mechanisms for bone growth. They help in the healing and fusion process during spine surgeries and may include scaffold, signaling, or cell elements for bone formation. Click here to learn more about the types of spine biologics. 

What is the difference between PEEK and 3D printed implants?

Poly-ether-ether-ketone (PEEK) implants are comprised of a synthetic material that is “bioinert”, meaning it does not interact when introduced to biological tissue. 3D printed implants are comprised of titanium alloy (Ti-6AL-4V ELI) and are created through additive manufacturing. Click here to learn more about PEEK and 3D printed implants.

What is a spinal cage?

A spinal cage, also known as an interbody, is used in procedures that remove intervertebral discs from the spine. The cage is placed in the disc space to help fuse the spine for stability and/or to restore curvature of the spine. The shape of the cage differs based on the procedure and location on the spine. Click here to learn more.


Important Note: This information is intended as an educational resource to provide an overview of the procedure. The information should, in no way, be used as a substitute for informed discussions between the patient and physician regarding possible and eventual course of treatment. Medical treatment is individually specific to each patient’s symptoms. The information contained herein may not apply to you, your condition, treatment, or expected outcome. Surgical techniques and practices vary. Complications may occur. It is important to talk with your physician about all indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, clinical results, and other important medical considerations as pertain to this procedure. For further information on product contraindications, warnings, precautions, and possible adverse effects, click here.

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