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Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

With the goal of relieving pain and stabilizing the cervical spine,
anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgical procedure that involves relieving the pressure placed on nerve roots and/or the spinal cord by a herniated disc or bone spurs in the neck.

Benefits of ACDF

Performing ACDF in a minimally-invasive method allows your physician to access the discs without disturbing the spine and spinal nerves. This also allows for improved function after surgery, less blood loss, and more complete decompression of spinal nerves. Over 90 percent of patients who undergo ACDF experience substantial relief of their arm pain symptoms, while over 75 percent experience substantial relief of neck pain. ACDF typically provides the greatest benefits to patients with pain centered in their arms.

Compared to traditional, “open” surgeries, which require long incisions, the minimally invasive approach used by North American Spine physicians results in less surgical trauma, less bone and tissue damage, and results in fewer complications and a reduced recovery period. Note: we do see patients whose previous spine surgeries are no longer providing them the relief they need.

To determine if you are a candidate for an ACDF, contact one of our Patient Care Managers at 877.474.2225. If you have already seen a physician, send us a copy of your recent MRI or CT for review using the form on this page.

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Details of the ACDF

The goal of an ACDF is to remove a herniated or degenerated disc in the neck area of the spine, then fill the resulting space with a bone graft, fusing the vertebrae together for stability.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision to one side of the front of your neck, remove damage disc material, replacing it with bone graft material or a spacer. Specialized hardware is then used to secure the vertebrae. As your body heals, the bones from the neighboring vertebrae will naturally fuse to the graft and create a single, stable structure.

Preparing for the ACDF

Before pursuing an ACDF, prospective patients should have tried conservative methods, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and spinal injections. If those methods have not produced meaningful relief, you may be a candidate for a North American Spine procedure.

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ACDF Recovery

ACDF can be performed outpatient or inpatient, depending on the number of levels treated. Recovery is typically much shorter than the recovery period for open spine surgery. Typically, patients will be walking the same day of surgery and performing light activity within a few weeks. More in-depth, customized recovery guidelines will be provided by your North American Spine physician. The vast majority of patients report a significant and lasting reduction of their pre-op symptoms.

While every surgery carries some risk of injury or infection, complications are rare. Your physician will counsel you on these risks prior to the procedure.

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Barbara D.

Condition: Herniated Disc

Procedure: ACDF

“Almost all of my symptoms have resolved and I have full use of everything.”

"My quality of life was falling fast with the inability to use both of my arms and hands due to numbness...I am still in the healing process, however life is great now. Almost all of my symptoms have resolved and I have full use of everything. I can grab something and actually hold onto it."

Connect With A Patient

Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

Connect with a Patient

We love your questions!

Our friendly Patient Care Managers are standing by and ready to help. Call us at 877.474.2225 or complete the form below, and we'll be in touch shortly.