Neurosurgical Associates PC
800 St. Vincent's Drive
Suite 700
Birmingham, AL 35205
205.933.8981

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Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (Intervertebral Spacer)

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.

(ACDF) Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion Intervertebral spacer

What is an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (Intervertebral Spacer)?

Your healthcare professional may recommend an ACDF if you are suffering from disc herniation or degeneration in the upper part of the spine known as the cervical area. The Anterior Cervical Discectomy is a procedure that involves surgically entering the front (Anterior) of the neck (Cervical) and removing a damaged cervical disc (Discectomy). A vertebral spacer, bone graft, and metal implants are put in place of the damaged disc and act to fuse the two vertebra together.

Who needs this procedure?

If you have some of the following conditions or symptoms, you may be a candidate for an ACDF:

  • Weakness in your hand or arm.
  • Arm pain that is more severe than neck pain
  • Numbness/weakness in arms and extremities
  • Degenerative discs or herniated discs
  • Other cervical symptoms that have failed to respond to medication or physical therapy

Your healthcare provider can review the exact symptoms and causes that apply to you and why you may be a candidate for the Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion with Intervertebral Spacer.

The anterior cervical discectomy with fusion procedure with intervertebral spacer

Incision

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Step 1 Incision

An incision is made across the front of the neck to gain access to the cervical spine.

Disc Removal

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Step 2 Disc Removal

The damaged disc is removed, relieving pressure from the previously pinched nerve roots. Space is made above and below the removed disc, making room for the bone graft.

Bone Graft Insertion

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Step 3 Bone Graft Insertion

An intervertebral spacer packed with bone graft is inserted between the vertebra, in the space made for it in the previous step.

Metal Plate Attachment

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Step 4 Metal Plate Attachment

A metal plate may be attached to the area to hold the bones in place during the healing process.

Closure

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Step 5 Closure

The bone graft in the spacer binds with the vertebra, growing together to help stabilize the spine.

After Surgery and Recovery

Recovery time is specific for each patient, but your surgeon will have a recovery plan to get you back to normal after the operation. Typically, patients are walking around by the end of the day, and able to return to work in 3-6 weeks, depending on how healed they are and the level of activity involved.