Indications for ventral cervical fusion include cervical spondylomyelopathy, spinal fracture or luxation, and atlantoaxial (AA) subluxation or instability. Implant failure is the most common and most researched complication of ventral cervical fusion. The clinical significance of implant failure may range from incidental findings to catastrophic failure. The treatment is based on the severity of clinical signs along with an estimation of the risk for deterioration and disastrous consequences. The severity of clinical signs, location of the implant relative to nervous structures, estimated instability of the spine, and risk for further neurologic damage are first evaluated. Declining neurologic status postoperatively either after temporary postoperative clinical improvement or immediately after surgical intervention. The decision-making process to manage dogs with recurrence or continued deterioration of signs is largely influenced by the severity of signs, the ability to identify an underlying cause, and the likelihood of surgery to address the cause.
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- Catastrophic failure
- Implant failure
- Neurologic damage
- Small animal surgery
- Ventral cervical fusion