What happens during anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery?

During an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery (a surgery to treat damaged or worn disks in your neck):

1. You will lie on your back on the operating table so the surgery can be done through your neck. An anesthesiologist will put you to sleep so you will not feel or remember the surgery. You will also be given antibiotics to prevent infection.
2. The surgeon will make an incision (cut) in the front of your neck and move your trachea, esophagus, and arteries to the side. X-rays will be taken to identify the problem disk.
3. The surgeon will carefully remove the damaged or worn disk or bone spurs that are putting pressure on your nerves. A microscope helps the surgeon see clearly and perform this surgery safely.
4. The disk space will be filled with bone.
5. In most cases, a thin metal (titanium) plate will then be screwed tightly to the bones (vertebrae) above and below the disk space.
6. The surgeon will close the incision with stitches.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.