Learn about anterior cervical discectomy surgery

Back and neck injuries are very common with any car wreck. Hopefully you haven’t had to deal with something like this first hand, but if you have, you may recall the term “spinal fusion." If you haven’t, it’s not uncommon to see this be the result of a bad car wreck. What we’re going to share with you is a procedure called “anterior-cervical-discectomy”. This is where surgery removes a herniated or diseased disc and relieves neck and radiating arm pain caused by parts of the disc pressing on nerve roots.

Sounds painful, right?

Basically what happens, is the disc that is diseased or herniated is actually removed during the surgery. Typically at this point the disc is causing pain through the arm and the neck, which is caused by parts of the disc pressing on the nerve roots. It’s as intensive as it sounds! First, the procedure starts with a small incision to the front of the neck where the disc itself is removed. After recovery, the amount of pain and pressure is almost instantly relieved from the nerve which is no longer pinched.

A graft is then placed in the space above and below where the removed disc was between vertebrae. A metal plate is then screwed over the vertebrae which helps let the vertebrae heal. What ends up happening is the bone graft knits together with the vertebrae, above and below, which grows new bone – hence the name “fusion”. Mobility will take a hit to some level, and the fusion isn’t perfect but puts the patient in a much better state than prior to the surgery. 

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney