Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion
When you are experiencing nagging and severe neck pain that lingers for months, it may be because of a damaged spinal disc. Over time, spinal discs get worn out due to repetitive activity, poor health, or trauma that causes them to slip out of place. This can put pressure on the nerve root, creating excruciating pain, stiffness, and even headaches. Anterior cervical discectomy fusion is a surgical procedure that can help remedy this problem, allowing you to recover your ability to move.
This surgical procedure aims to reduce the pressure and pain in your neck. You can learn whether or not anterior cervical discectomy fusion is the right approach for you by speaking with one of our doctors. When you speak with our knowledgeable team that can provide neurosurgery, orthopedics, and pain management, you can learn all about our methods and whether it is the right choice for you. Call Ceda Orthopedic Group to learn more about this treatment specialty.
What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?
When you experience cervical radiculopathy, it is because a spinal disk disease has occurred within the cervical region of the spine. This can be due to injury, arthritis, a ruptured disk, or another degenerative disease. Cervical radiculopathy commonly happens to older and middle-aged adults. Younger patients can experience it if they experience an accident that leaves them with serious injuries.
What Is Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion?
Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion, also known as ACDF and anterior cervical decompression, is a type of neck surgery that your doctor performs with the goal of removing the damaged disc to reduce nerve root pressure. This is why it can also be considered a form of surgical decompression. The anterior cervical discectomy fusion procedure helps bring relief to the spinal cord and addresses some of the symptoms of a damaged disc in the neck. This includes any weakness, pain, numbness, and tingling.
What Does Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion Treat?
This surgery mainly aims to relieve the pressure caused by worn or damaged discs in the cervical region of your spine located in your neck. These are some of the disorders it can improve:
Spinal stenosis is a medical disorder that happens when the spaces within your spine begin to narrow. This puts pressure on the nerves that are spread throughout the spine and can happen mostly in the neck and lower back.
Also known as a ruptured, slipped, or bulging disc, herniated discs occur when a fragment of the spinal disc nucleus slips out of boundaries and is pushed beyond the annulus and into the spinal canal. The disc is a gel-like cushion that prevents the spinal column bones from grinding against each other. Herniated discs are typically an early sign of degenerative disc disease.
Spinal discs can be worn down over time as you age, but it doesn’t happen to everyone. Over time, spinal discs can suffer from trauma and wear-and-tear, making you lose flexibility and increasing the number of bone spurs. This can cause pain and weakness in the neck region. Spondylosis is specifically an age-related disease that occurs when the spinal bones begin to grow bone spurs and the spinal discs begin to thin out. This disease is also known as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease more generally.
Would I Be A Good Candidate for Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion?
If you have taken anti-inflammatory medications like steroids or non-steroidal drugs and the pain doesn’t recede, you may be a good candidate. This can also be the case if you attended physical therapy to reduce pain and improve mobility, but no changes occurred. You would also need to have pain caused specifically by compression on the nerve root and some motor weakness. The surgery aims to relieve the pressure from the nerve root, which means that if there is no compression caused by the cervical spinal column then anterior cervical discectomy fusion may not be the right procedure for you.
How Does Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion Protocol Work?
Anterior cervical discectomy fusion surgery is used to obtain one goal, and that is to remove the damaged disc. However, it is performed using a two-step process:
Anterior Cervical Discectomy
This is the first step of the surgery and is initiated by making a small cut in the front of the cervical spine in the neck. The damaged disc is removed from between the vertebral bones that are putting pressure on your nerve root.
This step of the surgery is done at the same time as the first step so that the cervical segment being operated on stays stable and even. The fusion places a bone graft or implant in the area where the damaged disc was. This provides support and stability to the spinal bones.
If there are any bone spurs in the area, they can be removed to help prevent some of the symptoms associated with arthritis. This approach allows direct access to the spinal disc so that the main nerves affected by cervical radiculopathy can be treated. Typically, you may experience less post-operative pain because the surgery is very straightforward and minimally invasive, providing a direct way to remedy chronic neck pain.
How Can Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion Help Me?
If you have tried many other modalities, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine, and many other treatments, then you may want to consider anterior cervical discectomy. You can work with a team that truly cares about its patients. We have a strong team of experienced physicians who can aid and direct you on your journey to recovery. Our medical staff is highly educated with a strong track record of improved outcomes for our patients. You can find out whether you are a good candidate for the procedure from one of our dedicated doctors. Call Ceda Orthopedic Group to learn more about the process.