Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

About Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery is used to treat a disc herniation in the neck when nonsurgical treatments have failed. During this surgery, all or part of the herniated disc in your neck will be removed and the vertebral bones surrounding the removed disc will be surgically joined. Since the vertebral disc rests in front of your spinal cord (i.e., toward your chest or anteriorly), Dr. Rovner will reach the disc through your neck instead of through the back. After the disc is removed, the affected vertebrae will be reinforced, supported, and stabilized with a bone graft placed between the vertebrae. For added stability, a titanium plate will be screwed into the affected vertebral bones, allowing for a safer, and more complete recovery.

Benefits of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

This procedure is intended to relieve you of the neck and arm pain that you are experiencing as a result of your herniated disc or degenerative disc disease. The disc herniation or condition irritates the spinal nerves whose roots are in the spinal cord near the disc. When the herniated disc is removed, the pressure on the nerve will be released, alleviating pain. Using an anterior approach, the delicate nerves in and around the spinal cord can be left untouched. This reduces the risk of neurological problems after the procedure.

What to Expect from Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics

Every time we perform surgery, including anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, we use the most advanced techniques and the least invasive procedure possible. Attention to these goals yields a great result with the shortest possible recovery times. In most cases, you will be able to go home the day of or day after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. While the complete healing can take several weeks, you may even be able to return to your normal life just a few days after surgery.

Depending on the duration and severity of pain prior to surgery, you should experience pain relief in your arms and neck almost immediately afterwards.

It is possible, though, that some pain will persist for several weeks after surgery. You may also experience some difficulty swallowing because the muscles and/or nerves were irritated during surgery. Rest assured, most of our patients say that the long-term relief of neck pain outweighed outweighs the temporary discomfort they may have felt during recovery. You can expect to have regular post-surgery appointments to ensure that your recovery goes as expected.

Dr. Rovner and his staff are available to answer any questions you might have at any time before or after the procedure. Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics will provide detailed and specific instructions for your recovery from anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.

About Dr. Rovner

Dr. Joshua Rovner is a board-certified spinal surgeon and will guide you throughout the surgical process. He will help you choose the treatment plan that is right for you and make sure you have the support you need from physical therapy to pain management. For more information about spinal surgery from Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics or to request a consultation with Dr. Rovner, contact us today at (201) 227-1299.