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Your back is made up of 24 hollow bones (vertebrae) held together by fibrous plates called discs. Your discs can become worn or be injured causing the soft centre of the disc to push out of its normal space. This is called a herniated disc. In most cases fusion surgery is also performed to stabilise your cervical spine.

What happens during ACDF?

ACDF is performed under general anaesthetic. An anterior (from the front) approach allows your surgeon easier access to your cervical spine. An incision (cut) will be made in the side of your neck. They may confirm the location of the diseased disc using x-ray. Part of, or the entire disc, will be removed. Your surgeon may also decompress (clear out) any bone spurs or disc material that may be putting pressure on your nerves.

When the disc is removed a space remains. A bone graft to fill and stabilise this area is performed. This encourages the growth of bone (fusion) between two vertebrae while allowing space for nerve roots in your spinal cord. Sometimes a surgical plate and screws are used to reinforce the bone graft. Your surgical wound will be closed with stitches or staples.

Immediately after your surgery you will be taken to a recovery area where we will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. We will give you medication to control pain but please tell us if you are in any discomfort. Once you are stable, you will be moved to your own room where we will be able to help you to begin to move around.

Going home after ACDF

Patients that have 1-2 levels of their cervical spine decompressed and fused are allowed to go home the same day as their procedure. If you are having any difficulty breathing or any other instability you may need to stay overnight with us.

Be sure and arrange for someone to take you home as you will not be able to drive until released to do so by your surgeon.

Continue to take any pain relief medication as directed and follow any restrictions recommended by your surgeon including lifting and bending. You may have difficulty swallowing, a sore throat or hoarseness. These symptoms should ease in 1-4 weeks.

Recovery from ACDF can take 6 weeks or longer. Full fusion may take up to 18 months post surgery. Discuss any return to work with your surgeon.

As with any surgical procedure there could be complications including:

Specific complications of ACDF may include:

  • Fusion failure
  • Nerve damage
  • Continued swallowing or speech problems
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370919
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SY

01242 246 500
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Guildford  

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555805
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 2769 401
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
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Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

Enquiries 0300 131 1400
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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