Understanding the Different Treatable Conditions of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Are you living with neck pain? You’re not alone. An estimated 80% of people suffer neck pain and stiffness at some point in their lives.

Most of the time, acute neck pain dissipates on its own. But if your pain lingers for days, weeks, or months, a chronic condition or a more serious injury might be to blame.

Herniated discs or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck are two of the leading causes of chronic neck and arm pain. The good news is that you don’t have to live with the ongoing discomfort because a procedure called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) could treat your pain at the source.

Aron Rovner, MD, and our surgical team at New York Spine and Sports Surgery specialize in ACDF procedures for herniated discs and bone spurs. With the high success rates, ACDF surgery could be the answer you’ve been looking for to treat your chronic neck pain.

ACDF surgery for nerve pain

Your neck is made of seven vertebrae. It’s also called the cervical spine, and it contains nerves that connect your arms and your head to your torso.

Certain conditions, like herniated discs and bone spurs, can compress or pinch the nerves in your neck. Cervical nerve pain can feel like tingling, burning, or numbness. Depending on the nerves that are affected, you might feel pain in your neck, arms, or upper back.

Herniated disc

Each vertebrae is cushioned by a spinal disc. These spinal discs have a gel-like interior and a hard, slippery exterior, and they protect the bones and nerves in your spine.

Herniated discs develop when the disc interior contents push through the exterior. Displaced material can press against nerves in your spinal column, creating pain and other symptoms.

Bone spur

Bone spurs are abnormal growths on bones. A vertebral bone spur may develop on a bone in your neck and compress nerves along your spinal cord. Like a herniated disc, the compression can cause lingering neck and nerve pain.

How ACDF surgery works

If you’re bothered by ongoing neck pain, Dr. Rovner and our team work with you to identify the cause. Cervical herniated discs and bone spurs are often diagnosed with a physical exam and medical imaging, such as X-rays.

Conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication may be enough to relieve your pain. But if you still have symptoms after trying nonsurgical treatments, Dr. Rovner may recommend ACDF surgery for you.

You’re put under general anesthesia, and Dr. Rovner makes a small incision on the front of your neck. He moves tissues and blood vessels aside to access your cervical spine, and then carefully removes the damaged disc or bone spur.

He grafts bone between the affected vertebrae, adding metal plates or pins for additional support as necessary. Once the procedure is complete, he closes your incision.

Recovery may take several months, but ACDF can be highly successful in treating cervical nerve pain. In fact, up to 93% of people who have ACDF surgery for neck pain report positive results.

If you need relief from ongoing neck pain, don’t wait any longer. Call one of our offices in Garden City, New York, or Fair Lawn, New Jersey, to make an appointment with Dr. Rovner.

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