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Anterior Cervical Discectomy And Fusion
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgical procedure that involves fixation of cervical vertebral segments to achieve decompression in the cervical spine. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a very common surgical procedure. During this procedure, the surgeon will take an anterior approach through the front-side of the neck and will then remove damaged cervical disc(s) and replace with a cage and bone graft to fuse the vertebrae together and restore disc height. Restoring the disc height has a decompressive effective on the spinal and foraminal canals and thereby should relieve symptoms and prevent further neurologic compromise. In addition, often times prior to surgery instability exists because of the degeneration/damage of the discs supporting the vertebral segments. The implants and associated fusion performed during the procedure can provide additional support and stability to the previously compromised segments.
When to Consider
An ACDF is typically considered only when all conservative non-invasive and interventional pain care has been exhausted. There are times when an ACDF may be considered before exhaustion of conservative care if severe compression exists and patients present symptoms of atrophy, weakness, and gait abnormality. Patients considered for an ACDF typically have the following conditions: Degenerative disc disease, Bulging discs, Herniated discs, Spondylolisthesis, Spinal stenosis, Foraminal stenosis, Myelomalacia. Symptoms you may be experiencing where an ACDF may be considered: Neck pain, shoulder pain, numbness, tingling sensations, and radiating pain traveling into the upper extremities (shoulders, arms, hands, fingers)
What to expect in surgery
ACDF can typically be performed safely and effectively through minimally invasive approach in an outpatient surgical setting. Patients will arrive at center and spend a brief amount of time in the immediate pre-operative unit. An ACDF typically takes about 60-90 minutes to complete. After the procedure patients will usually spend a brief amount of time in the immediate post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and then be discharged from the facility.
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