An anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF) is a procedure that involves replacing a vertebral disc in the neck with a bone graft. “Anterior” refers to the process of accessing the cervical vertebrae from the front of the neck. “Discectomy” is the removal of disc, which serves as a type of cushion between vertebrae. “Fusion” is the process of inserting a bone graft that will allow the vertebrae to fuse and heal.
Why Would I Need an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion?
Removing a disc in the neck is usually done to relieve pressure in the cervical vertebrae, a process known as decompression. This spinal pressure can be caused by:
Numbness or tingling in the neck or upper extremities
Muscle weakness in the upper extremities
An ACDF procedure is normally only recommended after non-surgical treatment has failed. There are several types of spinal surgeries available; whether or not an ACDF is the right surgery for you depends on a number of factors. Consult your spinal surgeon for the best treatment option for your specific condition.
What is an ACDF Like?
The typical steps of an ACDF:
Patient lies on back
A small incision is made to the side of the midline of the neck
Neck soft tissue (esophagus, trachea) and muscle are moved aside
The damaged disc material is removed
A bone graft, plate and screws are installed to allow fusion
The tissue is returned to its place and the incision is closed
Recovery is different for every patient and depends on a variety of factors. You will set up a recovery plan with your surgeon. Patients are typically up and walking the day after surgery. It will usually take 3-6 weeks of recovery before a patient can return to work. Most pre-surgery symptoms will be immediately relieved, while others may improve over time.
Risks and Complications
Any spinal surgery carries a risk of infection, blood loss, clots, nerve damage and risks associated with anesthesia. Risks vary between patients. Discuss your specific case with your spinal surgeon. To learn more about ACDFs or to schedule an appointment with a spinal surgeon, contact us today.
The Longstreet Clinic, P.C., incorporated in 1995, is a fully-integrated multi-specialty medical group owned and managed by physicians. The group has grown to over 750 employess including 200 physicians and advanced practice providers. We treat patients in the following specialties: internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, adult and pediatric inpatient medicine, general surgery, oncology, hematology, physiatry, orthopaedics, sports medicine, neonatology, perinatology, allergy and immunology, neurology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, colorectal surgery, bariatric surgery and medical weight loss. The Longstreet Clinic is repeatedly ranked by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the largest physician group practice in Georgia, and one of the largest independent group practices. With its main campus located in Gainesville, TLC providers also see patients at offices in Baldwin, Buford, Braselton, Cleveland, Dahlonega, Demorest, Oakwood, and Toccoa. The Longstreet Clinic, P.C. Doctors you know. Care you trust. Internet
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