Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

This surgery removes a herniated or diseased disc and relieves neck and radiating arm pain caused by parts of the disc pressing on nerve roots.

How is the procedure performed?

An Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion is performed through an incision on the front of the neck. The diseased or damaged disc is removed, relieving pressure from pinched nerve roots. A bone graft is placed in the empty space between the vertebrae. The surgeon may screw a small metal plate over the area to hold the bones in place while the vertebrae heal. Over time, the bone graft will grow together with the vertebrae above and below forming a fusion.

How long will it take to recover?

Many patients will be able to get out of bed within an hour or two after surgery. Most patients will be able to leave the hospital the day after the surgery and can normally drive within a week or two.

What are the risks associated with an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion?

As with any invasive surgery there is a risk of bleeding, infection, complications with anesthesia, nerve damage and ongoing pain. There is also a risk of the vertebrae not fusing together.

When should I call my doctor?

If you have severe pain, new numbness or weakness, or signs of infection at the injection site (redness, swelling or bleeding), you should contact us right away.