Review some of the most commonly asked questions about Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF):
Discectomy and Fusion
What is Anterior Cervical
Discectomy and Fusion?
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgical procedure used to treat issues such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine. The procedure is performed through the front (anterior) of the neck, as opposed to the traditional approach of performing surgery through the back (posterior).
During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the damaged or herniated disc and fuse the affected vertebrae together. This is done to eliminate any movement between the affected vertebrae and prevent further injury or deterioration. The fusion is typically accomplished using a combination of a bone graft and metal plates or screws.
What Are The Benefits of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion?
The benefits of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion include less damage to surrounding muscles and nerves, as well as a faster recovery time compared to traditional posterior surgery. Additionally, the procedure can also help alleviate symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and hands.
What Are The Risks of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion?
Patients who are candidates for the procedure typically have chronic pain and other symptoms that have not improved with non-surgical treatment options such as physical therapy or medication. It is important to note that anterior cervical fusion and discectomy is a major surgery and carries risks such as infection and bleeding, so it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a qualified surgeon before making a decision.
Recovery after Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
In terms of post-operative care [and recovery], patients will typically be required to wear a neck brace for several weeks after surgery to promote healing and prevent any movement of the fused vertebrae. Physical therapy is often necessary to help patients regain strength and mobility in the neck and shoulders.
Overall, anterior cervical fusion and discectomy is a highly effective surgical option for treating various cervical spine conditions. It is a safe and less invasive procedure that can alleviate pain and improve quality of life for patients suffering from chronic neck pain and other symptoms.