Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, also known as ACDF, is probably the most commonly performed type of neck surgery in the United States. The neck surgery involves making an incision in the front of the neck. The incision is usually across the neck, as this is much more cosmetically attractive than a vertical incision. It is just a short dissection from there to the front of the spine. The appropriate disc space is then exposed and the correct level confirmed with an x-ray. The disc is completely removed, along with the herniated portion and any bone spurs. Any compression of the nerves and spinal cord is corrected. A bone graft is placed in the disc space. A tiny titanium plate, less than 2 millimeters thick, is then applied with screws to hold the surgical area solidly.
ACDF Surgery Success Rate
This technique has been widely used since the 1950's with great success. Surgery may be effective in reducing neck pain in patients with severe arthritis. Most patients with a serious neck condition have a large herniated disc or bone spur pinching the nerves from the front of the spinal canal. This surgical approach works extremely well in this common circumstance. Success rates of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion are extremely high.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Artificial Disc Replacement (Cervical Arthroplasty)
Artificial cervical disc replacement is a relatively new technique of surgery. The surgery involves similar initial steps to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. However, after the disc is removed, no fusion is performed. Instead, an artificial disc is placed. This technique has certain advantages and disadvantages from anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Advantages include motion preservation. Motion preservation may reduce long-term degeneration of adjacent discs, although this has not been conclusively proven. There may be an advantage to performing artificial cervical disc replacement in young patients, such as in their 20's or 30's. Disadvantages include FDA restrictions limiting use of the device to patients needing only a single disc level treated. Patients with spinal cord compression may also not be candidates for the surgery, or patients with large bone spurs. Also, the device has only been used for a relatively short time, and therefore we do not have good data on the long-terms results. However, in carefully selected patients, artificial disc replacement can be a great option. Dr. Rajesh Bindal, of the Texas Spine and Neurosurgery Center, performed the first artificial cervical disc replacement surgery in Fort Bend County and all of our neurosurgeons are experienced in this technique. Call for your consultation today – 281 313-0031.
Additional neck pain treatment options include, but are not limited to, the following: