While ACDF has proven effective at relieving symptoms, some patients experience complications after the operation. What are these risks, and how should they be managed? Before undergoing any treatment, knowing more about the benefits and risks involved in this type of surgery is essential.
What is an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion?
Anterior cervical decompression and fusion is a surgical procedure to treat patients suffering from severe neck pain due to degenerative disc disease or other conditions. A fusion is usually done after a decompression surgery to help stabilize the spine. Fusion is a process where two bones grow together into one bone. This creates a stronger joint, which helps prevent further damage to the area.
What Happens Before Surgery?
Patients taking warfarin or other blood thinners must stop these medications three days before surgery. The night before surgery, your surgical team will advise when you should stop consuming food before your surgery.
What Happens During Surgery?
Anterior cervical discectomy is done under general anesthesia. A small incision is made in the front of the patient’s neck. The surgeon removes the disc material and any bone spurs or fragments that may be present. Then they place the bone graft to fuse the bones.
What Happens After Surgery?
Patients are encouraged to move around immediately after surgery to encourage recovery. Your medical team will work with you to ensure that you engage in the right amount of movement post-surgery. Most people who undergo surgery will find that their symptoms improve.
After an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure, you may need to wear a neck brace for several weeks. Your surgeon will tell you what activities you can safely do after surgery. Recovery usually lasts about four weeks, but it varies based on several factors, including your recovery progress.
Physical therapy helps improve muscle flexibility, coordination, balance, and posture. Physical therapy is often recommended after surgery to prevent complications and promote healing. A physical therapist will evaluate your condition and recommend treatment options based on your needs.
Return To Work
After anterior cervical discectomy with interbody fusion, patients are often advised to stay out of work for at least two weeks. This may be longer if they have other health problems or if their job requires them to perform heavy lifting or repetitive movements. Patients who can return to work earlier should do so. They should avoid any activities that require excessive neck movement or bending forward.
What are the Risks?
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a standard surgical procedure performed to treat degenerative diseases of the neck. However, like any surgery, it can have some risks of complications. This includes dysphagia, hoarseness, infection, and Horner’s Syndrome. Your surgical team will work to minimize these risks of complications.
Contact Us to Learn More About ACDF
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion are one of the most common procedures performed by spine surgeons today. This procedure can relieve pain caused by pinched nerves and allow patients to resume normal activities.
If you want to learn more about ACDF, we are here to answer your questions about the procedure. Contact Orthopedic Laser Spine Surgery at (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online form.