Patients suffering from a cervical (neck) spine condition may experience chronic neck pain or shooting pain in the head, arm, and/or fingers. This continual pain can become debilitating and cause a decrease in activity and quality of life.
At Austin Midtown Ambulatory Spinal Center, we want you to know that we understand the pain you are experiencing. Many of our patients suffered for years from chronic and radiating pain before turning to us for a solution. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is designed to treat your spine condition with less recovery time* and lower infection risk than traditional open neck or open back surgery.
If you are experiencing chronic neck pain associated with a cervical spine condition, our Patient Empowerment Consultants might suggest an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedure based on a comprehensive review of your most recent MRI and medical history. Please review the details of this procedure and call our Patient Empowerment Consultants with any questions about the procedure and your potential candidacy for ACDF.
What is an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
Like the other types of minimally invasive surgeries at Austin Midtown Ambulatory Spinal Center, our anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is performed through a small incision in the front of the neck. The surgeon will make a small tunnel to the spine by moving aside the muscles in the neck. With the help of a special X-ray, the surgeon will then remove the damaged disc. After the disc is removed, the surgeon will insert a bone or small titanium plate to immediately stabilize the spine.
Our anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease found in your cervical (neck) spine. A herniated disc occurs when one of the discs between the vertebrae develops a weak spot and protrudes beyond its normal designated space, which may cause pressure on the surrounding nerves. Degenerative disc disease occurs when the cartilage found in the discs and joints of your spine begin to gradually deteriorate, causing the surrounding nerves to be compressed.
People who suffer from pain caused by a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease in the neck may consider an ACDF procedure.
Common symptoms relieved by anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure
Herniated disc and degenerative disc disease in the cervical (neck) spine often cause pain by compressing the nearby nerve. While symptoms may vary depending on severity of the condition and other medical factors, the general symptoms of these two conditions include:
- Arm pain — An impacted nerve in your neck caused by a herniated or degenerative disc may cause a radiating or shooting pain in one arm. The pain may also extend up to your shoulder and down to your fingers. You might also experience localized pain in the neck accompanied with the radiating pain.
- Numbness or tingling — In addition to the radiating pain, you might experience numbness and tingling in your arm or fingers from the affected nerve in your neck. The feeling may be similar to the feeling of the loss of circulation.
- Weakness — The impacted nerve may not be able to send strong signals to the muscles in your arm or hands. For this reason, you might experience weakness in your arm or hand caused by a herniated or degenerative disc.