Often shortened to ACDF, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a kind of surgical procedure that is used to treat spinal cord compression and disc herniation. When non-surgical treatment options have failed, this surgical procedure may be used as the last result.
About the Procedure
An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a surgical treatment to relieve pain caused by herniated discs and/or degenerative disc disease. When performing the procedure, the surgeon will enter the space between the two affected discs through a very small incision on the right or left side of the neck. The surgeon will remove the disc completely—as well as any arthritic bone spurs that may be present—and will then remove any disc material that is pressing on the spinal cord or spinal nerve. In the final stages of the procedure, the vertebrae around the disc will be fused to provide stability.
Risks and Benefits
The main benefit of an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is relief from pain associated with herniated discs or degenerative disc disease. Removal of the herniated disc will relieve pressure on the spinal cord and, in doing so, relieve the associated pain as well. When performed correctly, this procedure will not affect the nerves in and around the spinal cord, which will reduce the risk for neurological complications.
As skilled as Ponnappan is, there is always some level of risk when you submit to a surgical procedure. With an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion there are certain risks which, though uncommon, can happen. These may include hemorrhage, damage to the laryngeal nerve, damage to the carotid artery, damage to the spinal cord or nerve roots, and pseudo arthritis following the procedure. In most cases, recovery from ACDF surgery takes between one and six weeks, and the patient may be required to wear a neck brace or collar during recovery.
What to Expect from Jersey Spine Associates
When you choose Jersey Spine Associates to perform your anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, you can rest assured knowing that you are working with the best in the business. We have many years of experience in the industry and are proud to have Dr. Ravi K. Ponnappan, a decorated orthopedic spine surgeon, on our team. Dr. Ponnappan has an excellent success rate and a high level of satisfaction with his patients.
To request a consultation or schedule an appointment at Jersey Spine Associates, simply give us a call or fill out our online form. We offer two convenient office locations as well as flexible scheduling, so you can choose an appointment time to suit your schedule. When you come in for your procedure, Dr. Ponnappan will walk you through the entire thing from start to finish, and will be happy to answer all your questions, leaving you with peace of mind in knowing that you are in good hands for your anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.