Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion
One of the most common neck conditions that occurs with age is cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). Over time, the normal wear-and-tear effects of aging can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal. This compresses — or squeezes — the spinal cord. CSM can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, and weakness.
There are many successful surgical techniques for treating CSM. The goal of surgery is to open the space for the spinal cord, or “decompress” the spinal canal. The decompression is performed either from the front of your neck (anterior) or the back (posterior). Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages (see table below) and these should be discussed with your surgeon. Neither surgical approach is ideal for every patient.
During this procedure, your surgeon removes the problem disk. The area left over is stretched, so that the height is similar to what it was prior to the disk wearing out. A bone graft is placed in the space where the disk was removed.