Anterior cervical fusion (ACF) is a surgery done from the front of the neck. The incision is made in the front of the neck. The soft structures of the neck are gently retracted to one side and front of the spine is exposed. The disc material is removed and decompression of the spinal cord is done. Fusion graft/ cage is inserted. A surgical plate is then put in the front over the fusion level.
Herniated disc, disc degeneration, pain due to nerve compression, spondylosis, stenosis and cervical myelopathy.
·The surgeon makes an incision in the front part of the neck.
·Fluoroscopy (live X-ray) is used to determine the correct level(s) to be operated.
·The contents of the neck are gently retracted to the side so that the spine can be seen.
·Disc tissue is removed.
· a Fusion cage or wedge of bone is placed in the disc space.
·Often, a plate is screwed over the operated segment to hold the graft in place and stabilize the area.
·Surgery takes approximately 1-2 hours.
After the procedure · After the surgery, you will be in the recovery for some time and then will be shifted to your room.
·You will be receiving medication intravenously including for pain.
·If you are comfortable, you will be assisted out of bed the same day as the surgery.
·A brace or collar may be prescribed for pain relief.
·You may be asked to be on soft food for sometime as there may be some difficulty in swallowing for some time and its get better in a few days.
·Certain exercises will be explained to you to do at home at the time of discharge or when you follow up with your spine doctor.
In any spine procedure, recovery is dependent on a lot of factors. It is hugely dependent on the age and health of the individual.
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