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Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is a surgery used to treat herniated discs in the neck. What makes ACDF surgery different from a traditional posterior discectomy is that the damaged disc is accessed through the throat rather than the back of the neck.

Accessing herniated cervical discs through the throat rather than the back of the neck allows the surgeon to work without disturbing the spinal cord, spinal nerves or the strong muscles of the neck.

What happens during ACDF?

You’ll be placed under general anesthesia for the procedure. Dr. Baig, one of the best Arizona ACDF surgery specialists, will make a small incision on one side of your throat and move the muscles, arteries, trachea and esophagus to the side.

Using real-time X-ray (fluoroscopy), he will identify and remove the herniated disc and decompress the “pinched” spinal nerve that is causing your pain. The missing disc is replaced with a bone graft or bioplastic cage filled with bone material, and hardware is used to fuse the vertebrae together. In some cases, more than one damaged disc will need to be removed.

Dr. Baig may choose to insert an artificial disc in place of fusion to preserve range of motion in the neck.

Why ACDF?

The overwhelming majority of herniated discs in the neck will heal without the need for surgery. However, in some cases disc degeneration in the neck is so severe and pain is so great that surgery is required. ACDF is Dr. Baig’s – one of the best Arizona ACDF surgery specialists – preferred surgical treatment for a number of reasons.

Benefits of ACDF include:
● Shorter surgery. ACDF surgery takes 1 to 3 hours as compared with posterior cervical discectomy fusion (PCDF), which takes 2 to 4 hours.
● Spinal cord and spinal nerves are undisturbed. Accessing damaged cervical discs from the front of the body means Dr. Baig will not have to disturb vulnerable spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself.
● Fewer complications. Studies comparing PCDF surgery and ACDF have shown ACDF to have fewer complications and to be safer overall for the patient.
● At our centers in Mesa and other surrounding regions of Phoenix ACDF surgery recovery is short with a short hospital stay. Many ACDF patients are able to go home the same day or next day after surgery as compared with PCDF patients, who require a stay in hospital post-surgery.

Am I a candidate for ACDF?

If you have neck and arm pain due to disc degeneration in your cervical spine and your symptoms have not improved with nonsurgical treatment, cervical spine surgery options such as, ACDF may be an option for you. As always, Dr. Baig will not perform any form of spine surgery unless he is certain it will help you. A consultation with Dr. Baig is the best way to find an effective treatment plan for your pain and related symptoms.

Evaluate Your Cervical Spine Surgery Options in Phoenix

If you’re experiencing neck or arm pain due to disc degeneration in your cervical spine, you may want to consult Dr. Rafath Baig, one of the best Arizona ACDF surgery specialists. The Medical Director and Founder of the Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center, he is dedicated to providing the ultimate patient care and complete patient education, no matter what the recommended course of action.

Furthermore, our entire team at Desert Spine is committed to a conservative approach to the management and treatment of the conditions of the spine. We believe that surgery is not always the best solution and recommend it only if it is the best option for your case. In fact in many cases, spine surgery is not required. If you’ve been recommended surgery by a doctor, it’s time to come and get a second or even third opinion with Dr. Baig.

We understand that back pain can be debilitating and severe back pain can even derail your life. After evaluating your unique situation, we recommend the best treatment option that will best suit your specific needs. Regardless of whether or not you may need surgery, you can rest assured that our ultimate goal is healing. And we will do whatever it takes to rid you of your chronic back pain and discomfort.