Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, often shortened to ACDF, is a procedure designed to treat diseased discs of the cervical spine (neck). It involves the removal of one or more cervical discs and replacement with a spacer and plate. ACDF allows surgeons to decompress specific cervical nerve roots and/or the spinal cord by removing herniated disc/discs and/or bone spurs (osteophytes).
What conditions does Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) treat?
- Neck pain
- Arm pain (radiculopathy)
- Degenerative discs in the neck, including “slipped”, collapsed, bulging, or herniated discs
- Cervical stenosis
- Cervical spondylolisthesis
- Deformity (kyphosis)
- Fracture with or without dislocation
How Does Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) Work?
During ACDF surgery:
- A small incision is made sometimes in a crease in the front of the neck.
- Dissection is taken down through the layers of the neck to front of the spine.
- The trachea and esophagus are gently moved aside.
- The affected disc is located and an X-ray is taken to ensure the correct level is identified.
- The damaged or herniated portions of the disc and any bone spurs are removed to relieve compression on the spinal cord or nerve roots.
- A bone graft, artificial disc or other supporting spacer is inserted into the open space where the affected disc used to be. Over time, this support will integrate with the spine, strengthening it. Often screws and a plate are placed and act like an internal cast to hold the bones together while they heal.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) Recovery
Hospital stays are typically short for this procedure with many patients going home the same day of surgery. Patients often have a sore throat and need to eat soft foods at first. Additionally, patients are asked to avoid vigorous physical activity until cleared by their surgeon.
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ACDF can be a procedure that restores quality of life and drastically reduces pain. To request more information: contact us.