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Author Topic: Human Life is Fragile but EVERY Life is Valuable  (Read 10201 times)

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Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion Surgery (ACDF)

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is performed at the Spine Institute Northwest as a minimally invasive spine surgical procedure to treat nerve root or spinal cord compression in the cervical spine. The procedure has two parts, first a discectomy to remove the problem disc and decompress the spinal cord and nerve roots, then a fusion to stabilize the corresponding vertebrae. ACDF can be performed via a small incision in the front of the neck, providing relief from spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviating symptoms including pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling either at the site, or in the parts of the body the affected nerve serves.

ACDF: The Basics

ACDF is used to treat pain caused by a herniated or ruptured disc in the cervical spine. As we age, the fluid in our discs diminishes, sometimes causing them to tear or rupture.

This can cause the nucleus pulposus (the jelly-like padding at the center of the disc) to bulge and press on the outer wall of the disc (the annulus). When this happens, it can create pressure on nearby nerve roots or on the spine itself, causing intense pain.   :(

;): RE, notice the Bone Spurs and Thickened Ligamentum Flavum that contribute to stenosis in addition to the herniated disc creating pressure.

I wish they would call the disc "hernia" something like an aneurysm (i.e. an excessive localized enlargement of an artery caused by a weakening of the artery wall). In the case of a disc, I would call it an excessive localized enlargement of the disc caused by a weakening of the disc wall).

The "hernia" of the disc is the weakened wall of the disc. The localized enlargement which results ALSO leaves behind a localized REDUCTION of disc thickness. This causes pressure on the spinal cord TWO ways. The first way is the bulge pushing on the spinal cord. The second way is the reduced distance between vertebrae from the slightly deflated disc compressing the spinal cord.

Ruptured or herniated discs are not only caused by degenerative discs (spondylosis), however; this condition can also be brought on by injury or excessive wear and tear, for example, from a physically intense occupation.

This combination minimally invasive spine procedure has two parts.

First, in the discectomy, the surgeon enters through a small incision in the left side of the neck, and the affected disc is removed. If there is additional tissue compressing the nerve, this will also be removed to reduce pressure and create more space. 

The second step is the fusion, which increases stability and prevents the vertebrae from collapsing where the disc was removed. By filling in the now-open space where the disc was with a bone graft and a cage implant, the vertebrae can be “fused” back together.

This will create a bridge of bone that will, with time, keep your cervical spine able to properly support itself and bear normal loads.

Read on for more details on this minimally invasive spine surgery, including what to expect before, during, and after surgery, as well as potential risks and complications.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 09:10:18 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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