Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)

This procedure involves removing a compressive disk in the neck through an anterior approach. That spinal level is then fused and the space that was occupied by the disc is replaced with an implant called a cage. Bone graft is placed within the cage to achieve fusion and the cage can be secured additionally with small screws into the adjacent vertebral bodies. A wound drain is placed in the neck and local anaesthetic infiltrated into the skin of the neck.

Patients stay overnight in hospital. The drain is removed and an x-ray is performed to check the cage position prior to discharge home.


Post op care

A wound check will need to be performed at 2 weeks after the procedure. The wound should be kept dry until this time. Patients can return to work at 6 weeks for light office type work or 3 months for manual work. Generally patients are safe to drive by six weeks. Patients can gradually increase their level of activity from 6 weeks onwards.

Surgical outcomes

All surgical procedures are recorded on the British Spine Registry (BSR). This includes pre- and post-operative clinical scores and a record of any surgical implants used.

Pre-operative clinical scores need to be completed prior to any procedure and can be downloaded here. You will be contacted directly by the BSR by email for your post-operative outcome scores at 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after any procedure.