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What is Anterior Cervical Decompression and Spine Fusion

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What is Anterior Cervical Decompression and Spine Fusion

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Apr 25, 2017

Anterior Cervical Decompression and Spine Fusion is a kind of neck surgery, where damaged disc is removed to relieve the spinal cord or nerve root pressure. This helps in reducing pain, tingling sensation and numbness caused otherwise. Discectomy is a kind of surgical decompression and this is the reason that procedure is called as anterior cervical decompression. Anterior Cervical Discectomy: The surgery is carried out through the anterior or front of the neck/ cervical spine. The procedure involves removal of the disc between vertebral bones.
Fusion: Fusion surgery is carried out at the same time as discectomy operation so as to stabilize the cervical segment. Fusion consists of placing bone graft or implants in the area where disc originally was so that the area can get stability and strength. The surgery is usually carried out to treat symptomatic cervical herniated disc but can be helpful for cervical degenerative disc disease as well. Osteophytes (bone spurs) can also be removed using this procedure.
Surgery Approach Anterior cervical decompression and spine fusion is carried out through the anterior approach which implies that the surgery is done from the front side of the neck. Advantages of this approach are:
  • Direct access to the disc: This approach allows the specialist to reach out to the cervical discs that are mainly the reason behind stenosis, and nerve compression. If the disc is removed, it leads to direct decompression of impinged nerve. This approach provides access to the almost complete cervical spine.
  • Less pain: This is a preferred approach of spine surgeons because it provides direct access to the spine through an uncomplicated path. The patient undergoes lesser pain through this procedure if compared to the posterior operation.
Only one vestigial muscle needs to be cut if an incision is made from the front of the neck. This limited dissection reduces the postoperative pain following the spine surgery, making interior cervical decompression and spine surgery a better option. If you are suffering from such health condition, it is good to consult a specialist for more details. Your doctor will help you understand your current condition and the right way of treating it.

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