Treatments We Provide

Anterior Cervical Fusion (ACDF)

If you have been suffering from pain from pinched nerves and have not found relief through physical therapy or medication you might need ACDF surgery. Anterior Cervical Fusion (ACDF), also referred to as Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, is the removal of a degenerative disc in the neck, then the fusion of the bone above and below that disc. Though this is a surgical procedure, the team at AZBSC will work to have the procedure and recovery time go as quickly as possible to get you healed and ready to get back to your life.

woman examining neck x-ray

What is an Anterior Cervical Fusion?

An ACDF is a procedure where the surgeon will make a small incision to access the spine from the front (anterior) via the throat area. From there the surgeon will remove the herniated or degenerative disc while avoiding disturbing the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Once the disc is removed, the surgeon will then graft a replacement bone to fill the empty space to avoid spinal collapse. This replacement bone can be an autograft where the replaced bone comes from you (your hip specifically), an allograft that is provided by a donor, or a bone graft substitute that can be made from a variety of materials.

Why is an Anterior Cervical Fusion Performed?

When suffering from a herniated disc, you would typically be able to treat the problem through non-surgical methods. If you have gone through these non-surgical treatments but have not seen improvement, then ACDF might be an option for you. It is important that when it comes to choosing a surgical treatment you understand the risks associated, but in the end it is your decision.

How is an Anterior Cervical Fusion Performed?

The process for an Anterior Cervical Fusion is a straightforward procedure. You will be put under anesthesia and the surgical team will clean the incision area in your throat. Your surgeon will then make the incision, locate the damaged disc with the use of a fluoroscope, remove the disc, then decompress the nerve. After that, your surgeon will proceed with your bone graft fusion and finally close the incision.

woman having pain in back and neck sitting in bed

What To Expect After an Anterior Cervical Fusion

After your ACDF typically you can expect to go home the same day. You may need to stay overnight in the case of raised blood pressure, but usually that won’t be the case. In about 2 weeks, we’ll want to schedule a follow up appointment to look at recovery progress and evaluate what is needed moving forward. Full recovery can take up to 6 weeks, though there will be a better idea of recovery timing when you come in for your follow up appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Anterior Cervical Fusion

1. How long is recovery after an Anterior Cervical Fusion?
The typical recovery period post ACDF is 4-6 weeks, though recovery times vary from patient to patient.

Get Back the Activities You Love

Don’t let pain keep you from doing everything that you enjoy. Contact the expert team at AZBSC Spine & Orthopedics today!