Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion
Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion in Cincinnati
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the most common type of neck surgery, which decompresses the spine by removing a damaged spinal disc or bone spurs that apply pressure to the nerve root or spinal cord. This is a two-part procedure approached through the front of the neck: during one step the damaged disc is removed, and then a bone graft or implant is used to fuse the space where the disc originally was. Anterior cervical discectomy performed by the spine experts at Beacon Orthopaedics can help alleviate symptoms like pain, numbness, and weakness caused by a number of cervical spine conditions.
What Does Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Treat?
ACDF surgery is most frequently performed to alleviate symptoms caused by a cervical herniated disc and stenosis, which can put pressure on the spinal cord or nearby nerves. This procedure may also be performed to treat degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine, cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve), or to remove bone spurs, often caused by arthritis.
The ACDF Procedure
The goal of an ACDF procedure is to alleviate pressure, or decompress nerves in the neck which have become compressed by a herniated disc or other cause. This procedure is performed through an anterior approach, which means that the incision is made on the front of the neck. The surgeon removes the herniated disc or piece of bone (or both) that is putting pressure on the spine and nerves. Next, the fusion is performed: this involves the use of a bone graft or implant filled with bone graft to fuse the vertebrae adjacent to the removed disc together, stabilizing the spine.1
Recovery after Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
Following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, some patients may be able to return home the same day. During the recovery period, you should avoid twisting or bending their necks, heavy lifting, driving, and strenuous activity. You may be instructed to wear a brace, and will be given instructions on incision care. Once you have been seen for a follow-up visit with your surgeon, you will be cleared to resume driving and other activities at the surgeon’s discretion.
Most patients report a dramatic reduction in pain and other symptoms following an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure. Numbness may persist during the recovery period, but will naturally resolve as the nerves heal.
If a single level of the neck is fused during ACDF surgery, patients may experience an increased range of motion. If multiple levels are fused, patients may notice a slightly decreased range of motion when turning their heads or looking up or down.
Contact Beacon Orthopaedics in Cincinnati
If you are suffering from the symptoms of a herniated cervical disc or other cervical spine conditions and conservative treatment has not brought relief, you may be a candidate for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. For more information, please contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced spine expert at Beacon Orthopaedics.
1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Cervical Radiculopathy: Surgical Treatment Options. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/cervical-radiculopathy-surgical-treatment-options/. Accessed July 22, 2021.