An anterior cervical discectomy (ACD) is the removal of a damaged disc (discectomy) in the neck (cervical) by accessing the spine via the front (anterior) of the neck. The ACD procedure is usually done in coordination with a fusion or a disc replacement.
A fusion joins the nearby disc areas together with a bone graft, thereby providing stability and maintaining vertebral height. However, a fusion also limits mobility for that part of the spine. A disc replacement keep mobility by replacing the herniated disc with an artificial disc, such as a Mobi-C artificial spinal disc.
What Conditions Does Anterior Cervical Discectomy (ACD) Treat?
A discectomy removes herniated or diseased discs. Damaged discs can arise from other spine conditions:
Compression of the damaged disc onto a nerve can cause weakness, numbness or pain.
State-of-the-art Anterior Cervical Discectomy (ACD) Treatments at NSPC
At Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC), we use revolutionary techniques to make spinal surgeries safer, decrease the chance of complications and have faster patient recoveries. To shrink blood vessels and reduce blood loss, our spine surgeons use the Aquamantys® System, which uses radiofrequency energy and saline to close up blood vessels faster during surgery. The Misonix Ultrasonic device emulsifies (melts) targeted bone, yet preserves soft tissue such as the spinal membrane.
The procedure for an anterior cervical discectomy is usually in concert with a fusion (a bone graft that helps the bones join together) or an artificial disc replacement.
Patients lie on their back and are under anesthesia for the surgery.
A one to two-inch incision is made in the front of the neck. The surgeon retracts the neck muscles, trachea, esophagus and arteries to access the damaged disc.
Fluoroscopic imaging confirms the correct disc is selected.
The damaged disc is removed, alleviating pressure on the nerve. If any bone spurs were detected, they are removed and the opening for spinal nerve roots are widened to provide room for the nerves.
For a spinal fusion, a bone graft is inserted into the space between the remaining vertebrae. Hardware such as screws and rods hold the spine stable while the bone grows.
If the ACD is accompanied by an artificial disc replacement, the new disc would be inserted now.
Patients typically return home the same day of the treatment.
One of the largest and most highly specialized private practices in Long Island and the greater New York area, NSPC has over 25 affiliated physicians including 19 neurosurgeons in spine and brain surgery sub-specialties. If you have spondylosis, osteoarthritis, cervical radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, disc herniations or cervical fractures, contact one of our NY medical centers to talk with a spine specialist to see if you are a candidate for anterior cervical discectomy.
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Xavier P. J. Gaudin, D.O. is a dual-trained neurosurgeon with special expertise in minimally invasive and complex spinal surgery. He treats a full spectrum of brain, spine and peripheral nerve conditions.
Zachariah M. George, M.D., is a board-certified neurosurgeon at Neurological Surgery P.C. in Commack and West Islip, Long Island, NY. Dr. George has additional fellowship training in orthopedic spinal surgery.
Sachin N. Shah, M.D., is a neurosurgeon specializing in spinal surgery. He performs complex and revision spine surgery to treat conditions such as adult scoliosis, spinal deformities, spinal cord tumors and malformations.
William J. Sonstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Board-Certified Diplomate, American Board of Neurosurgery. He has a special interest in complex spine surgery and has one of the largest experiences with Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) on Long Island.