Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a minimally invasive procedure frequently performed by surgeons at The Spine Hospital of Louisiana that relieves symptoms caused by a bulging or degenerative disc in the neck. This outpatient surgery removes a damaged disc in your neck and replaces it with a bone graft. This can relieve pressure on spinal nerves that may cause numbness, muscle weakness, and pain focused in the hand and arm.
You may be a candidate for ACDF surgery if:
- Your MRI, CT, or other neuro-imaging exam shows that you have a herniated or degenerative disc
- You are experiencing significant weakness in your hand or arm
- Conservative therapies have stopped working
In preparation for the procedure, you are positioned on your back. You are anesthetized. The surgeon creates a small incision in the front of your neck. The structures within your neck are gently moved aside to create a path to your spine. The surgeon carefully removes the damaged disc. This leaves a space between the vertebrae.
The surgeon inserts a bone graft into this space. The graft may be made from a piece of bone taken from your hip. It can also be made from donor bone, or from a synthetic material. The graft fills the open space. It holds the vertebrae in the proper position. The surgeon may secure the graft with a metal plate and screws.
End of Procedure
When the procedure is complete, the incision is closed. As your spine heals, new bone will grow. The graft will become permanently attached to the
vertebrae. This is called a “fusion.”
Following ACDF surgery, most patients are able to resume normal activities within four to six weeks.