||Surgical Procedure: Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion|
Currently, the gold
standard of treatment for cervical Degenerative Disc Disease or a cervical
herniated disc is an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion.
The approach to the
anterior neck makes use of a plane between muscles, which is very easy
to recover from. The muscles naturally part, giving the surgeon direct
access to the spine, while avoiding the spinal cord. After
the disc is exposed it is removed. Then the nerve root is decompressed,
the offending compressive material is cleaned out, and then the bone
graft is inserted into the disc space. The size of the bone graft has
been determined by the surgeon prior to surgery. Once the bone graft
is firmly in place, tension is taken off the vertebral bodies above
and below, which compresses the bone graft and holds it in place.
What happens after surgery?
The hospital stay is generally 24-48 hours. During this time, IV fluids may be given while your body recovers and your normal appetite returns. You may move about in bed and rest in any comfortable position when you have recovered from anesthesia. Walking may begin within several hours of surgery. Daily walking is the best exercise, setting a pace that avoids fatigue or severe pain. You may return to work when you are ready, and drive after you regain full coordination.
Successful recovery from Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion requires that you approach the operation and recovery with confidence based on a thorough understanding of each process. Your surgeon has the training and expertise to correct physical defects by performing the operation; he and the rest of the health care team will support your body's efforts to heal its damaged tissues. Full recovery will also depend on you having a strong, positive attitude, setting small, realistic goals for improvement, and working steadily to accomplish each goal.
Last modified: May 29, 2009