ACDF Surgery Performed in Houston, Tomball & Cypress, TX
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, or ACDF surgery, is a spinal decompression procedure that has two key components: First, the surgeon removes a damaged disc to reduce pressure on a compressed spinal nerve and alleviate the associated pain, numbness, tingling sensations, and weakness (symptoms collectively known as cervical radiculopathy). Second, and during the same surgical session, the surgeon places a bone graft or implant in the space previously occupied by the damaged disc to strengthen and stabilize the spine.
The Significance of the Anterior Approach
ACDF surgery is performed through the front (anterior) as opposed to the back (posterior) of the neck. Some potential advantages include:
- Direct access to the damaged disc – The surgeon is afforded a clear view of the cervical discs, which are often is a source of spinal narrowing or nerve compression in the neck. ACDF surgery can provide the surgeon with access to virtually the entire cervical spine, spanning from the C2 segment at the top of the neck down to the cervicothoracic junction (C7-T1 level) where the cervical spine joins the thoracic spine.
- Less postoperative pain – ACDF surgery provides the surgeon with access to the spine through a relatively uncomplicated pathway. After making a small incision in the front of the neck and cutting through only one thin muscle, the surgeon can follow the anatomic planes right down to the spine. Because there is minimal disruption to the surrounding muscles and other tissues, the anterior approach can result in less pain and a faster recovery than the posterior approach.
When Is ACDF Surgery Appropriate?
When treatments such as physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do not provide sufficient relief from cervical radiculopathy, ACDF surgery may be appropriate. If this is an option you’d like to explore, you can consult with R. Alexander Mohr, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who practices in Houston and Cypress, Texas. As an early adopter and strong proponent of minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Mohr can help you find the least invasive treatment approach that offers the most potential long-term benefits.
If you’d like to talk with Dr. Mohr, you can request an appointment at his office in Houston, Tomball, or Cypress, TX.