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Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) in New Jersey

Bedminster & Newton, NJ

 

At the New Jersey Spine Institute, all of our procedures are performed by a team of two Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeons to maximize relief and minimize your recovery time.

 

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908-234-9200

 

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Conditions Treated With Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)

At the New Jersey Spine Institute, we effectively treat a wide range of degenerative diseases and other conditions with ACDF surgery. Some of the most common include:

Herniated Disc(s)

One or more intervertebral discs in the cervical spine (neck) become damaged as the result of an injury or due to the degenerative process.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Intervertebral discs in the neck become worn down and begin to degenerate over time.

Cervical Stenosis

Cervical stenosis is a condition in which the cervical spinal canal narrows, leaving insufficient room for the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Cervical Spondylosis

Sometimes referred to as arthritis of the neck, Cervical Spondylosis describes the natural wear and tear of the neck bones, discs, and joints.

Bone Spurs

Cervical bone spurs (osteophytes) are bony growths that form on one or more vertebrae of the neck and can cause nerve compression.

Radicular Pain

Radicular pain describes nerve pain that travels through the shoulder, arm, hand, and/or fingers.

Neck Pain and/or Stiffness

Pinched nerves or spinal cord compression in the cervical spine can lead to severe neck pain and restrict the neck’s range of motion.

Arm Pain

ACDF surgery is commonly performed to alleviate symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in the arms or hands caused by nerve compression.

Benefits of ACDF

ACDF relieves pressure on the spinal nerves and/or spinal cord and has been a life-changing surgery for countless patients. At the New Jersey Spine Institute, we have observed its numerous benefits for many patients, which can include:

  • Arm pain relief
  • Neck pain relief
  • Preservation of spinal stability
  • Improved spinal alignment
  • Improved range of motion in the neck

What To Expect From an ACDF Procedure

ACDF is a two-part procedure that our award-winning surgical team has refined countless times over the years. Using minimally invasive techniques, we approach each case with signature precision and accuracy to achieve excellent outcomes that effectively reduce neck and arm pain and put our patients on the fastest road to recovery.

We understand that most patients we work with feel some level of uncertainty about undergoing ACDF, which is why we are dedicated to providing comprehensive pre and post-surgical instructions and are available to address questions or concerns as they arise. The information below provides an overview of what to expect from ACDF surgery, but rest assured that your treatment plan will be custom-tailored to your personal needs and circumstances from start to finish.

ACDF surgery typically takes anywhere from 1-3 hours but can take more or less time depending on the complexity of the case. It is performed by our renowned doctors in the Spine Institute of New Jersey’s state-of-the-art clinic and patients can return home the very same day.

The steps involved in ACDF surgery include the following:

Part 1: Anterior Cervical Discectomy

  • The patient is positioned on their back (neck up) and given general anesthesia.
  • A small incision (3-4 cm / just over 1”) is made in the front of the neck.
  • Structures are gently moved aside to provide direct access to the cervical spine.
  • The damaged intervertebral disc or discs are carefully removed, leaving a space between two or more vertebrae.

Part 2: Fusion

  • A bone graft made from the patient’s own bone material is inserted between the vertebrae to fill the open space(s) and hold the vertebrae in the proper position.
  • Each bone graft may be held in place with a metal plate and screws.
  • Once the fusion is complete, the incision is closed and the patient is awakened.

Over time, new bone will grow and the graft will become permanently attached to the vertebrae.

Preparing for ACDF Surgery

At the New Jersey Spine Institute, we provide clear and detailed information about how to prepare for ACDF surgery and are always available to answer any questions along the way. In the days and weeks leading up to your surgery date, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Prepare the home
    • Move essential items such as clothing, toiletries, cooking utensils, food, and more to shelves or cupboards that are easily accessible without bending over.
    • Remove or secure area rugs to minimize the risk of tripping.
    • Ensure you have a phone and charger near your recovery area.
    • Purchase simple or prepared foods beforehand for the first few days of recovery.
  • Identify a support person who can drive you to and from your surgery and be available to you as needed in the first few days following surgery.
  • Quit smoking. Tobacco usage is associated with decreased blood circulation, which can inhibit the bone growth necessary for a successful spinal fusion.

Recovery After Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

The recovery time after ACDF surgery varies from patient to patient, but usually takes approximately 6 weeks, with most of the pain recovery typically occurring within the first 2-4 weeks. We develop a custom pain management plan for every patient to ensure the highest possible level of comfort during the recovery period.

Many patients experience difficulty swallowing and/or hoarseness in the first week or two after the procedure and some may also experience neck or arm pain that resolves gradually throughout the healing process. Most patients can begin gentle exercise, such as walking, very soon after ACDF surgery, but it is critical to closely follow the instructions laid out by your doctor.

During the healing period, bending and heavy lifting are to be avoided. Patients with sedentary jobs may be able to return to work within 2-3 weeks after surgery, while those with more physically demanding careers may need to wait much longer before being cleared for a full return to work. Physical therapy can be helpful in regaining strength, mobility, range of motion, and overall independence after ACDF surgery.

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Expected Outcomes and Considerations

While complications from surgery are rare, any surgical procedure can have potential risks. It’s important to note that not all symptoms may be relieved by surgery; however, if you are considering an ACDF procedure, it is likely because the potential benefits significantly outweigh the risks. Your doctor will discuss the expected level of relief and any potential risks with you beforehand to ensure you have a clear understanding of the possible outcomes. Together, you can make a well-informed decision about whether to proceed based on a thorough evaluation of the pros and cons.

True Commitment to Care & Mindfulness

At the NJ Spine Institute, we recognize that undergoing surgery can be a significant emotional experience as well as a physical one. You are in expert hands with our board-certified surgeons, who bring years of successful procedures and a deep commitment to patient care. They meticulously evaluate each case and proceed with surgery only when they are highly confident in their ability to enhance your health safely and effectively. We prioritize not only your physical care but also your peace of mind, supporting you at every step to ensure you feel fully informed and at ease with the process.

When you book a consultation at the New Jersey Spine Institute, you can trust that we will provide you with a detailed overview of the risks associated with ACDF surgery as well as the potential benefits based on your particular circumstances and health goals. Following pre and post-operative instructions carefully can help minimize the likelihood of experiencing certain side effects. Contact our team at the Spine Institute of New Jersey immediately with any questions or concerns about your surgery.

Experiencing arm or neck pain that originates in the cervical spine and has been unresponsive to non-surgical treatment approaches? An Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion may be the solution you’ve been seeking. To learn more about the New Jersey Spine Institute’s leading two-surgeon approach and receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, book a consultation today! We look forward to working with you.

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