Upper back fusion procedures

A minimally invasive upper back fusion procedure, like the anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, at Laser Spine Institute, offers a variety of advantages over traditional open spine surgery. The outpatient ACDF procedure is aimed at relieving neck pain caused by degenerative cervical spine conditions like bone spurs, spondylolisthesis, herniated discs or bulging discs.

Benefits of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

This minimally invasive procedure uses a smaller incision than required with open spine surgery, and there is less of a risk of infection. The infection rate at Laser Spine Institute, where we specialize in these minimally invasive procedures, is 0.55 percent.^ The national hospital infection rate is many times higher, at up to 16 percent.

The anterior cervical discectomy and fusion uses a muscle-sparing technique in which muscles are moved aside instead of cut or torn as you might experience with traditional open back surgery. This results in less surgical blood loss.

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure

If you are suffering from pain from a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, you may be interested in pursuing ACDF. Here is what you can expect during the procedure:

  • A small incision will be made in the front of the neck. A fluoroscope, which is a special type of surgical X-ray tool, allows the surgeon to see an extremely detailed view of the disc being removed.

  • The herniated or bulging disc is then removed in its entirety, in addition to any bone spurs that may have formed at this level of the spine.

  • The open disc space is then prepped for the insertion of a bone graft, which is then stabilized with a small titanium plate.

  • Finally, the small incision is closed and the patient will be taken to the postoperative recovery unit, where you will be monitored closely.

Is minimally invasive spine surgery right for you?

Very few patients will ultimately require an upper back fusion procedure in the form of ACDF. In fact, only a small percentage of the patients who turn to Laser Spine Institute for relief from degenerative spine pain are candidates for this minimally invasive fusion procedure. Candidacy depends on the age of the patient, his or her overall level of health and the severity of the spine condition.

We welcome you to contact a member of our Care Team to learn more about the minimally invasive procedures offered at our center, where our goal is to help you get back to your desired daily routine. Your personal recovery time will depend on your work environment and the type of surgery performed, although 88 percent of the fusion patients at Laser Spine Institute return to daily activities within three months of having stabilization surgery. Call us today to learn more about your options.