Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
An ACDF is used to remove the pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord, which can be caused by boney spurs or prolapsed discs, and also to stop the movement between the affected vertebrae.
The first part of the surgery is the discectomy, which involves removing the affected disc, which in turn removes the pressure on the nerve structures.
This is done through a small incision made in the front of your neck. Mr Cass is able to then move the windpipe, gullet and blood vessels to the side and this will enable him access to the cervical spine. X-rays will be used during the procedure to ensure that the correct disc is identified. Mr Cass then removes the disc and will assess the vertebra itself and may remove any boney spurs that may also be putting pressure on the nerves.
After the disc has been removed Mr Cass will then move onto the fusion . This involves placing a spacer with bone or bone replacement between the 2 vertebra allowing them to heal together or “fuse”. This bone graft will often be recycled bone taken during the surgery itself, or may involve an artificial bone graft. This graft is sometimes held in place with a plate and screws.
The majority of mr Cass’s patients will usually stay in hospital for one night following the procedure.
An ACDF is about 90% successful in reducing arm pain.