Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) Surgery in Seattle, WA
Edward Jung, MD, MS, your trusted choice for anterior cervical discectomy & fusion
Dr. Edward Jung uses his extensive knowledge and experience with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion to pioneer and innovative new ways to treat pain and other symptoms of degenerative disc disease at the cervical spine.
What is Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion?
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF), also referred to as anterior cervical decompression, is a surgery to remove a herniated disc or degenerative disc in the neck. The procedure is performed through the front of the neck to give the surgeon better access to the spine and to provide the patient with less post-operative pain.
Two primary goals are intended to be accomplished with the procedure. The first goal is to decompress the spinal cord and nerve roots. This is done by removing the disc material and bone spurs that are causing the compression. The secondary goal is to obtain a solid fusion. This is done by placing a spacer between the vertebrae to maintain alignment serve as a conduit for the fusion. Often a metal plate is placed to provide stability and to prevent migration of the graft.
What Should I Expect After ACDF?
While each patient and ACDF surgery is unique and dependent on variable factors, patients typically go home the same day of surgery or after one night of observation. Recovery time is between four and six weeks, but it may take up to 18 months for the fusion to fully set up.
After ACDF, patients may notice some range of motion loss which varies according to neck mobility before surgery and the number of levels fused. Generally, the more levels fused, the higher chance for limitations in regards to turning and looking up and down.
What are the Risks of the Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Procedure?
There are risks associated with any surgery which can include bleeding, infection, and damage to the nerve root. However, with ACDF, the most common postoperative problem is difficulty swallowing. This can last anywhere from two to five days. Other complications of this particular surgery include improper or failed bone graft healing causing persistent swallowing or speech disturbances and inadequate symptom relief. Because the frequency of complications varies between surgeons, it is of the utmost importance to work with a board-certified surgeon who has specialized training in spine care and has experience performing ACDF.
How We Can Help
Dr. Jung will work with you diligently to determine your best treatment options. He will take the time to educate you and answer your questions. He believes in engaging his patients to empower them to make the best decision to suit their condition.