Neurosurgical Associates of Central Jersey
Understanding ACDF Surgery for Neck Pain and Spinal Concerns

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery is a treatment performed to treat neck pain, spinal cord, and nerve root compression of the cervical spine.

Here is a guide to understanding ACDF surgery and how to request an appointment with Neurosurgical Associates of Central Jersey if you are experiencing neck pain or have spinal concerns.

What Is ACDF Surgery?

ACDF surgery combines discectomy with spinal fusion. This procedure is typically performed to treat conditions of the cervical spine and intervertebral discs, including disc herniation, spinal cord compression, and radiculopathy (pinched nerve).

During ACDF surgery, a neurosurgeon makes an incision at the front of your neck to access the cervical spine and affected disc without disturbing the spinal cord, nerve roots and other tissues behind the disc. Discectomy is performed to remove the damaged disc materials, including bone spurs, followed by spinal fusion in which a bone graft is positioned and secured into the open disc space using a titanium plate to promote the healing of adjacent vertebrae.

This minimally invasive spine surgery results in minimal blood loss, less scarring, and very little tissue destruction. It can be performed in under two hours and produces fewer complications than open spine surgery.

Who Is a Candidate for a Discectomy?

Your doctor or neurosurgeon may recommend a discectomy if you have a herniated disc and meet one or more criteria, including:

  • You are experiencing numbness or pain in an arm or leg that is severe, and interfering with your ability to do everyday tasks.
  • You are experiencing severe weakness in the affected arm, lower leg, or buttocks muscles.
  • You are experiencing bowel and bladder problems, such as urinary incontinence.
  • Pain caused by your herniated disc is not going away with opioids or other pain medications.

What Is the Purpose and Function of ACDF Surgery?

The goal and purpose of ACDF surgery is to reduce neck pain and other spinal condition symptoms, including muscle weakness, muscle spasms and numbness or tingling in the arms and legs. This surgery may also be performed to restore stability to the spine. Generally, ACDF surgery has the potential to improve your quality of life if you are living with a painful or debilitating spinal condition.

What Conditions or Symptoms Can Lead to ACDF Surgery Being Necessary?

ACDF surgery may be necessary if you have neck pain or a spinal condition that is not responding to conservative and nonsurgical treatments such as rest, physical therapy and medications.

Ideal candidates for ACDF surgery may have:

  • Disc herniation
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Myelopathy
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Spondylosis
  • Cervical spine fractures
  • Spinal cord tumor or infection
  • Severe neck pain
  • Weakness in the neck or arm
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Difficulty walking

A neurosurgeon can evaluate your condition and symptoms to determine whether you’re an ideal candidate for ACDF surgery, discectomy or spinal fusion.

What Are the Benefits of a Successful Procedure?

Long-term benefits of successful ACDF surgery include lasting pain relief, a reduced need for pain medicines and significant reduction in further damage to the spinal cord. This surgery can also enhance your quality of life and allow you to resume activities that were limited on behalf of your neck pain or spine condition.

Contact Neurosurgical Associates of Central Jersey at (732) 302-1720 to request an appointment if you have neck pain or spinal concerns. Our experts can review your medical history, perform an examination and talk to you about treatment options, including ACDF surgery.

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