Cervical Spine Surgery

Surgery for the Cervical Spine can be done through a small incision on the side of your neck (called an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion) or an incision down the back of your neck, called a Posterior Cervical Laminectomy. Your physician will determine which approach is best for you, based on your diagnosis and other factors.

During an Anterior Approach, you physician will make a small horizontal incision on the side of your neck somewhere above your collarbone. Special surgical instruments are used to reach the herniated disc and remove it, unpinching the nerve. Then a bone graft is inserted between the vertebrae, where the disc used to be. This is called a fusion. The fusion is to stabilize the vertebrae and try to prevent further problems in the cervical spine. Sutures are placed under the skin and steri-strips outside the skin to hold the incision closed as it heals. The sutures will not need to be removed, and the steri-strips will peel away from the skin in a few days under warm water. Traditionally, a procedure called an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF) has been the "gold standard" for surgical treatment. Using bone grafts and instrumentation such as metal pla tes and screws, this procedure fuses, or creates a bond between, two or more adjacent vertebrae, ideally stabilizing the segment and providing relief. Many patients achieve excellent results with ACDF.

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