Over the course of our lives, we tend to experience a lot of stress and pressure, and there are times when we are too hard on ourselves. This is unavoidable as we are all driven by a goal and strive every day to be done with our responsibilities.
In between the rush and the haste, we tend to experience aches and pains in the muscles and joints that we tend to ignore or never even knew we had. The most common ailment people will experience is discomfort in the neck area.
The causes of neck pain are many, but whatever the cause may be, it is one of the most disruptive and tiring cases of pain. Neck pain can make long periods of standing uncomfortable. Reading or completing any task with your head bent down can be very trying. In short, having consistent and severe pain in the neck can make life really hard for you.
Oftentimes, pain in the neck can be associated with a damaged disc, a compressed nerve, or a combination of both. Patients suffering from neck pain may not experience any difference in the pain even after taking medication or attending physical therapy sessions. In such cases, a procedure called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) may be required to correct your neck.
What Is ACDF?
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a surgical procedure that is implemented to correct neck pain by removing a damaged disc. This will relieve the patient of the neck pain as a damaged or herniated disc can cause undue pressure to the spinal cord and to the nerve roots. Removal of the herniated disc eases up the pressure, providing some relief.
Prior to the Surgery
Your doctor will conduct a complete medical checkup before the surgery and you will be asked to take a number of MRI scans and x-rays to determine the precise location of the disc and to allow your doctor to assess the situation near the area where you are experiencing the pain.
He will compile your medical history and ask you to refrain from smoking or consuming painkillers such as ibuprofen or aspirin in the weeks leading up to the surgery as this can result in complications.
The entire procedure consists of two parts, a discectomy, and a fusion procedure. In discectomy, an incision is made on the anterior or posterior side of the neck in order to remove the herniated disc. Once this is done, the next step is a fusion procedure in which the segment from where the disc has been removed is stabilized by using bone grafts in the area where the disc had been previously resting.
The surgery is not complex and is very safe and efficient. Patients are allowed to go home the same day after the procedure is completed. Proper care and rest is vital for faster recovery. It is advisable to stay away from activities that involve physical exertion and to refrain from lifting heavy weights.
Contact Our Office
If you’re experiencing constant neck pain that is hindering different aspects of your life, then an ACDF surgery can be exactly what you need to find relief. Contact Advanced Spine & Orthopedics to schedule your appointment today!