If you struggle with neck pain that radiates down your arm, or you experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in an arm, it's time to visit Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center to discuss minimally invasive anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). The board-certified spine surgeons have extensive experience performing ACDF procedures that safely and effectively relieve the pain in your neck and arm. To learn how an ACDF can help you, call the office in Homer Glen or Woodridge, Illinois, or request an appointment online today.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion or ACDF is a type of minimally invasive surgery to remove a damaged disc from your neck, then fuse the adjoining vertebrae together. When your provider uses an anterior approach, they make the incision on the front of your neck.
Your provider at Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center may recommend anterior cervical discectomy and fusion to treat:
A herniated disc develops when the gel-like fluid inside a spinal disc leaks out through a tear or crack in the disc's outer cover. The leaking substance irritates and inflames the nerves, and the damaged disc may pinch nerves.
Over time, the spinal discs naturally dehydrate and wear down. As the discs thin out, they can't cushion vertebrae or stabilize your cervical spine. The adjoining vertebrae may move out of position, pinch nerves, and rub together.
Herniated discs and degenerative disc disease both cause pain in your neck near the damaged disc. Pinched nerves lead to pain and/or tingling that travel down your arm and into your hand.
You could also experience numbness in your arm instead of pain. In severe cases, a pinched cervical nerve leads to muscle weakness that affects your hand.
When your symptoms don't improve with standard medical care, it may be time to consider anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.
After receiving anesthesia, your provider makes a small incision and gently moves muscles and other structures aside so they can see your cervical vertebrae and discs. A tiny incision and keeping the tissues intact are hallmark techniques of minimally invasive surgery.
Using fluoroscopy (real-time X-rays) to view your cervical spine, your provider slightly separates the vertebrae and removes the disc. The next step, fusing the bones, requires a bone graft.
Your provider may take a small piece of bone from your hip. However, in most cases, they use a fusion cage for your bone graft. The cage fits in the space of your original disc and contains the same proteins in live bones that trigger new bone growth.
The two vertebrae grow new bone over the graft. When they meet, they fuse together to form one strong bone. As a result, you regain spinal stability.
Don’t put up with ongoing neck pain; call Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center or book an appointment online today to discuss anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.