Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)
An Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) is a state-of-the-art procedure that eliminates the debilitating symptoms of damaged cervical discs. Your neck is a fundamental segment of your spine, boasting the widest range of spinal motion. Used every day to execute innumerable activities, overuse of the neck can lead to a number of degenerative conditions. An ACDF, therefore, aims (with tremendous success) to correct these problems.
During an ACDF, your surgeon will access the cervical spine through a small incision in the anterior (or front) of the neck. Using an anterior approach will allow your surgeon to avoid unnecessary damage to the posterior muscles/nerves of the neck. Likewise, by securing entry from the front, your surgeon can gently move organs, tissues, and vascular structures to the side. Furthermore, without any overlaying bone with which to contend, your surgeon will have an unobstructed view of the affected discs. Using specialized, minimally invasive instruments, your surgeon will then remove a portion or the entirety of the damaged disc. If your surgeon discovers bone spurs or foraminal narrowing, your doctor will remedy these conditions through extraction or widening, respectively.
Following disc removal, your surgeon will restore the space between the vertebrae by implanting a prosthetic spacer that is filled with bone graft material. Your doctor will source bone tissue from the supply that best suits your specific situation: from existing bone in your hip, donor bone tissue, or synthetic materials. This bone graft, along with the insertion of screws, rods, and/or plates, will stabilize the vertebrae throughout the fusion process. During your recovery, the bone graft will encourage your own bones to grow in and around the graft. In effect, the fusion of the vertebrae will promote long-term stability and lasting pain relief from disc pain.
Advantages of Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)
An Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion is a successful option for those who are suffering from cervical disc damage and pain. This method permits easier access for the surgeon, as well as a less painful and stressful experience for the patient. Some of the benefits of ACDF include:
- Smaller incisions and less associated damage: less blood loss, less pain, and less scarring
- Anterior approach allows for a more direct view and access to damaged intervertebral discs
- Less harm to posterior muscles, nerves, and ligaments results in less pain & a faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stays with shorter recovery times enable a quick return to normal activities
- A high percentage of successful grafts and fusions are reported, with a > 90% success rate
Dr. Gatto of New Jersey’s Advanced Spine Center is especially practiced and knowledgeable in diagnosing and treating degenerative conditions of the spine. With extensive training and experience in the most up-to-date and minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Gatto has received various awards and recognition for his commitment to orthopedics and his patients. If you are looking for relief from your cervical spine pain, contact Dr. Gatto and the team at Advanced Spine today at (973) 538-0900
Eligibility Requirements for an ACDF
Anyone suffering from the symptoms associated with cervical disc damage may be a candidate for a minimally invasive ACDF. Symptoms could include any of the following: localized pain in the neck, radiating pain through the shoulders and down the arm, headaches stemming from the base of the neck, or stiffness/immobility in the neck.
However, if you are experiencing an infection of the cervical spine, or have known allergies to any of the materials used during surgery, then you may not qualify as an ACDF candidate. It is important to work closely with your physician to assess your candidacy for ACDF and to attempt more conservative treatments before choosing surgery.
If you are wondering if an ACDF may be able to alleviate the pain and symptoms originating in your neck, contact our experienced team at the Advanced Spine Center at (973) 538-0900 to evaluate your treatment options.