What is an
Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (ACDF)?

Learn how an ACDF can reduce neck pain.


3D images simulate the procedure and elements may differ in color, texture and placement than an actual surgical procedure.

Procedure Length


45 - 60 minutes

Incision Size


¾” to 1”

Patient Home Same Day


Outpatient procedure

The vast majority of procedures at the BioSpine Institute are performed through a ¾” incision; however, there are a limited number of procedures that may require a slightly larger incision.

What Is an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (ACDF)?

An anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF) is a procedure designed to remove herniated disc material in the cervical spine. In the case of a cervical injury, the surgeon reaches the damaged disc from the front of the spine through the neck.


After the disc is removed, a space between the vertebrae is empty. The pressure is released from the pinched nerve roots, and the pain is relieved. To prevent the vertebrae from collapsing and rubbing together the surgeon fills the open disc space with a spacer, and they are stabilized with a plate to allow bone growth and a solid fusion. The two vertebrae form one solid piece of bone in 3 to 6 months.

Graphic of: Spinal Cord, Spinal Nerve, Plate, Interbody Spacer, Screw, Disc
Graphic of: Spinacl Cord, Spinal Nerve, Nucleus, Herniated Disc, Bone Spurs, Annulus
3/4" - incision size - same size as a penny


The majority of patients will notice immediate improvement of some or all of their  symptoms while other symptoms may improve more gradually

Am I a Good Candidate for Cervical Fusion?

You may be a good candidate for an ACDF if you experience severe neck pain, weakness, or numbness that prevents you from participating in normal daily activity. If your neck symptoms do not improve after four weeks of non-surgical treatments, or a physical examination shows you have motion loss, abnormal feeling, or weakness that will likely improve with surgery, anterior cervical discectomy with fusion may be an option.

Used To Treat These Conditions

A herniated disc is a spine condition where the gel-like material in the disc leaks out. It is also referred to as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc.

A spinal disc that is damaged, causing neck pain and other problems.

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces in the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.


How Will I Feel After Surgery?

The majority of patients will notice immediate improvement of some or all of their symptoms while other symptoms may improve more gradually. A positive attitude and following your doctor’s post-surgery instructions will contribute to a satisfactory outcome.

*The Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (ACDF) procedure is recognized by the American Medical Association.

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