A cervical disc herniation can be removed through an anterior approach (through the front of the neck) to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviate corresponding pain, weakness, numbness and tingling.
- This procedure is called an anterior cervical discectomy and allows the offending disc to be surgically removed. A discectomy is a form of surgical decompression, so the procedure may also be called an anterior cervical decompression.
- A fusion surgery is almost always done at the same time as the discectomy in order to stabilize the cervical segment.
- Together, the combined surgery is commonly referred to as an ACDF surgery, which stands for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion.
While this surgery is most commonly done to treat a symptomatic cervical herniated disc, it may also be done for cervical degenerative disc disease. It may also be done for more than one level of the cervical spine.