Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion begins with a small, horizontal incision on the front, left side of your neck. The surgeon exposes a small plane to expose the front of the cervical spine. The problematic disc is removed to release the pressure on the spinal cord and exiting nerves. A spacer is placed where the disc was to maintain support of the vertebra. For a fusion the spacer can be bone from your own pelvis, a cadaver or a plastic spacer. If a plastic spacer is used then a biologic material is placed inside the cage to encourage healing. The vertebra and spacer are secured with a metal plate and screws at the front of the vertebral bodies. This is typically an outpatient procedure. We recommend that all patients sleep with their head elevated to about 45 degrees for the 1st week after surgery. A collar is often recommended for multilevel fusion procedures.