Cervical Fusion vs. Discectomy

You may be wondering what the difference is between a cervical discectomy and cervical fusion. In an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) surgery, a herniated or degenerative disc is removed in the cervical spine. This can relieve arm pain and weakness from a pinched nerve root.

In this procedure, a part or the whole disc is first removed through a process called a discectomy. An incision is made in the right or left side of the neck and the spine is accessed. The affected vertebra is located, and the disc is removed. Bone spurs pressing on the nerve root are also removed to relieve pressure on the nerve.

The spine is then fused for stability. In this process, the disc space is prepared, and an interbody device is inserted. A cervical plate over the interbody fixed with screws provides stability until fusion occurs.

To learn more about ACDF surgery, click here.

Speak with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms or for more information.

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