All about ACDF
- October 30, 2020
- Posted by: Dr. Sumeet Pawar
- Category: Neurosurgery
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and fusion refer to a surgery where the patient’s degenerated or herniated disc gets removed to eliminate the chronic pain. The surgery is named as anterior because the surgeon accesses the damaged disc from the front of the neck.
What is ACDF?
Our spinal bone columns (vertebrae) consist of an intervening cushion called an intervertebral disc. These discs help us prevent shock and injuries while doing exercise, accident, or day-to-day activities. When these discs get damaged, it causes excruciating pain in the back, making it difficult for them to move.
If there is no relief from conservative therapy like medicines for 6 weeks, physiotherapy, injections or of there is weakness of hand, surgery may be needed to relieve the symptoms.
Our spine surgeon in Mumbai recommends an ACDF procedure because it is convenient to access the patient’s spinal column without damaging the neck muscles and spinal column. The surgeon moves the tissue aside in the neck and throat region to access the spine and remove the damaged discs. To ensure the spinal bones do not rub each other, the doctor will fuse at least two bones. The disc replacement process takes place in one of the following ways:
- Bone grafting: A bone graft refers to a process in which the surgeon attaches bone to the targeted area to replace the disc. The bone is borrowed from a donor, bone bank, or the patient’s own body. This is no longer preferred.
- Bone graft with cage:This is currently the most widely accepted practice. Aninterbody cage of the shape of disc is used. It is made up of titanium alloy or PEEK material. Usually costing 15-20k per implant, they are filled with patient’s local bone and used for fusion procedure.
- Arthroplasty: In this procedure, the surgeon replaces the damaged bone using an artificial disc. A very costly procedure in very few indications.
After replacing the disc, the surgeon may use titanium plates and screws to fix the bines for further stabilility. After completing the procedure, an X-ray machine will detect whether the bone grafts are placed in the right place.
When shall you consider an ACDF surgery?
At first, your doctor will suggest physical therapy, exercises, medicines, and injections stabilize the spinal movement and relieve chronic pain. When these treatments fail to offer a satisfactory result, the doctor then suggests an ACDF surgery.
Also, a person can think of ACDF surgery if:
- They show symptoms of disc damage in an imaging scan
- They feel pain, weakness, or tingling sensation in the arms
- They suffer neck pain due to pinched spinal nerves
- They have tried other methods but couldn’t get rid of the pain
Risks and complications
Like any other surgery, ACDF comes with its own share of risks and complications if an experienced spine surgeon does not perform it. The risks include:
- Persistent pain
Usually, the total surgery costs approx 2 to 2.5L. If arthroplasty or multiple level are operated, costs may go up. Same surgery can be done in a multibed sharing ward for 1.7L (The cost estimate is only for mental preparation and comparison. It is not for advertisement)
When performed by an experienced, board-certified spine surgeon in Mumbai, the process becomes relatively safe and effective. Also, the patient can return to everyday life in a quick-recovery period. Visit PowerSpineClinic at Lilavati Hospital and get the best cervical pain treatment in Mumbai under the supervision of Dr. Sumeet Pawar. Connect with us for further consultation today.