The Vault

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

For patients that have a compressed nerve in the neck and have failed conservative treatment, an ACDF may be what is necessary for you.

This procedure is performed through a small incision in the front of the neck. The muscles, vessels, and esophagus are gently deflected out the way. The front surface of the spine is exposed. A microscope is used for the rest of the procedure. The disc is removed as well as any soft tissue that may be causing nerve impingement. The remaining space is measured and the appropriate spacer placed between the bones where the disc used to live. A plate is then placed across the areas of interest. X ray is used to confirm proper placement. The area is washed and the wound closed with invisible sutures.

Patients tend to do very well with an ACDF. The most common levels are C5/6 and /or C6/7.   It is rare to require more than a two level fusion.

You can expect to go home the day of surgery or after an overnight stay. The bones start to fuse together by 6 weeks and physical therapy is initiated.

Surprisingly patients note little decrease in their mobility after the procedure.

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression and interbody fusion

This technique in spine surgery is the most advanced procedure available and few practitioners offer it. Most spine surgeons limit themselves to the traditional open procedure, but we feel the benefits are worth the expertise and effort that is required to perform this procedure well.

The advantages of this approach compared the traditional approach are as follows:

1.This procedure can be performed thorough a 3 inch incision, often on one side only.

  1. It avoids the muscle stripping of the traditional approach. This leads to a dramatic reduction in pain, a lot less blood loss, and less spasm.
  2. The intact muscles are left to offer additional ongoing structural support.
  3. Decreased risk of postoperative seroma and potentially infection

Patients are encouraged to walk that day and attempt discharge on post op day two. We have had tremendous results with this procedure and are excited to offer this to our patients. This is more tailored to the 30 to 60 year old patient with isolated disease.