What is anterior cervical discectomy and fusion?
ACDF is a surgery where a surgeon removes a problematic disc from the neck by making an incision on the front, and fuses the vertebrae above and below the removed disc.
When is an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion needed?
An ACDF is a common procedure performed to decompress the the cervical spine when someone has cervical stenosis. Similar procedures include cervical arthroplasty, and cervical corpectomy. Ask your doctor which is right for you.
The patient is made comfortable and then put to sleep by the anesthesia team. An incision will be made on either the right or left of the neck in the front. Using a microscope, the troublesome disc will be removed and replaced with a smaller spacer filled with bone graft. The vertebra above and below this disc will be fixed together, often with a metal plate. This ensures stability, and promotes fusion over time. The incision will then be closed. Sometimes, a temporary drain is placed and removed before the patient goes home after a day or two.