A corpectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing part of the vertebral body (Latin: corpus vertebrae, hence the name corpectomy), usually as a way to decompress the spinal cord and nerves. Corpectomy is often performed in association with some form of discectomy.
Once the vertebral body has been removed, the surgeon performs a vertebral fusion. Because a space in the column remains from the surgery, it must be filled using a block of bone taken from the pelvis or one of the leg bones. This bone graft holds the remaining vertebrae apart. As it heals, the vertebrae to grow together and fuse.