Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a type of surgical procedure/neck surgery that involves removing a damaged disc to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviate corresponding pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. A discectomy is a form of surgical decompression, so the procedure may also be called an anterior cervical decompression.

The surgery has 2 parts:

  • Anterior cervical discectomy. The surgery is approached through the anterior, or front, of the cervical spine (neck). The disc is then removed from between two vertebral bones.
  • Fusion. A fusion surgery is done at the same time as the discectomy operation in order to stabilize the cervical segment. A fusion involves placing bone graft and/or implants where the disc originally was in order to provide stability and strength to the area.

While this surgery is most commonly done to treat a symptomatic cervical herniated disc, it may also be done for cervical degenerative disc disease. It is also commonly done to remove bone spurs (osteophytes) caused by arthritis and to alleviate the symptoms associated with cervical spinal stenosis.