Anterior Cervical_Discectomy

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion Beaumont, TX

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion

A cervical herniation can easily be removed using an anterior approach to help relieve pressure on the spinal cord, alleviate weakness, tingling, numbness and any corresponding pain. The procedure is known as an anterior cervical discectomy fusion, which allows the offending disc to be removed surgically. Discectomy’s are a form of decompression, so the procedure is often referred to as an anterior cervical decompression.

Fusion surgeries are almost always performed simultaneously with a discectomy to help stabilize the segment of the spine that is weak. When used together, you might hear the name anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Even though the surgery is commonly done to treat a herniated disc causing you problems, it might also be done for treating cervical degenerative disease. If there is more than one level of the spine affected, this procedure can help in that regard also.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion Surgery

anterior cervical discectomy fusionThe anterior approach in this particular surgery means that the surgery is performed through the front part of the neck, instead of going through the back. Several advantages exist to using this method.

It allows better access to the surgical site. Using an anterior approach provides access to just about the entire cervical spine from the top of the neck all the way down to the cervico-thoracic junction. The junction is the location where the upper spine joins with the cervical spine.

Less pain after the operation. Spine surgeons tend to prefer this approach because it offers excellent access to the spine without having to navigate a complicated pathway to get to it. All things aside, the patient will have a minimal amount of incision pain using this approach over that of the posterior method.

After an incision is made in the front part of the neck, only one tiny muscle will need to be cut. After the muscle is cut, anatomic planes are easily followed down to the spine. The minimal amount of muscle division helps to minimize the amount of pain following the surgery.

Even though there are a number of complications and risks with this procedure, the main problem patients tend to struggle with is problems swallowing for the first two to five days due to the esophagus being retracted during the procedure. It won’t take long to recover and you will begin feeling better in no time.

Procedure Involved with ACDF Surgery

Generally speaking, the procedure for anterior cervical discectomy fusion Beaumont, TX involves following the steps below.

An anterior surgical approach where an incision is made into the skin about one to two inches in size on either the left of the right side. The thin muscle underneath of the skin is split using an incision and the plane between the muscles is entered. The plane between the carotid sheath and the esophagus is entered. The thin tissue covering the spine is dissected from the disc space.

anterior-cervical-discectomy-fusion-Beaumont-TX-500x281A thin needle is then inserted into the space and an x-ray confirms that the surgeon is in the proper level of the spine. After identifying the proper level, the parts of the disc that are damaged are then removed by cutting through the ring surrounding the disc and removing its core. Most of the disc, but not all of it, will be removed in this procedure.

Patients often return home that same day or maybe the next day following the procedure. Most of the time, patients will recover within four to six weeks, but it can take as many as 18 months for the fusion to heal completely. Patients need to discuss any relevant activity restrictions and a rehabilitation plan with their provider for after the procedure.