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 degenerative changes of the discs – compressing, or squeezing, the spinal cord. CSM can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, weakness and tingling.
What It Is
One of the surgical techniques for treating CSM is the Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) procedure. It is a two-step process which includes a discectomy, a form of surgical decompression that removes the problem disc and a fusion used to stabilize the cervical segment.
During this procedure, a surgeon removes the problem disc(s) through an anterior approach (through the front of the neck) to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure ̶ ultimately alleviating corresponding pain, weakness, numbness and tingling. The portions removed are then reconstructed by inserting bone grafts within each disc space to support the normal loads of the cervical spine.