Recovery After Surgery for Cervical Spine Anomalies in Children

Postoperative Orders 

  • Imaging to check spine: Plain films and CT scans are obtained the day after surgery to confirm instrumentation placement and success of the reduction, if performed.
  • Analgesia: Postoperative pain relief is usually met with a combination of intravenous ketorolac, diazepam, and morphine.
  • Inpatient rehabilitation: Inpatient rehabilitation may occasionally be required.

Postoperative Morbidity

  • Pain at incision site: Aside from postoperative analgesia, a good-fitting custom rigid cervical collar can decrease pain at the operative site by reducing neck motion.
  • Dysphagia or hoarse voice: These may occasionally be present after an anterior cervical approach and almost always go away within a week.
  • Wound swelling: Typically wound swelling is not a problem, and drains are rarely used after these procedures.