Anterior cervical discectomy & fusion (ACF) is one of the most performed neck surgeries in the country. This surgery is an excellent option for people who suffer from pinched nerves with neck problems. The surgery entails a physician making an incision in the front of the neck and dissecting to the front of the spine. Once the disc is appropriately identified it is removed and a microscope is used to be sure that the nerves are un-pinched. The disc space is then prepared and a fusion device is placed and oftentimes a small titanium plate will be secured to the spine to stabilize the joint as well.
The surgery is then completed, and a small drain tube is placed and left in for a few hours after the procedure. Typically, a patient will spend several hours in the facility for observation and will be discharged the evening of surgery or the following day. Certainly, patients who have more advanced medical problems or require more lengthy spinal reconstruction may need to spend more time in a hospital setting.
The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.