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Doctor insights on: How Risky Is Anterior Cervical Fusion

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How risky is anterior cervical fusion?

How risky is anterior cervical fusion?

3 months: Assuming a proper work-up has been done and conservative care has failed, most patients do very well from a single level cervical fusion. Average time for a complete recovery is 3 months. Although there are risks with any surgery, most patients do very well. Check out spine health.Com. ...Read more

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Dr. Thomas Dowling
1,106 doctors shared insights

Spinal Fusion (Definition)

Surgery to cause two or more spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by the placement of bone tissue or graft taken from the patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on and may include implants or instrumentation ...Read more


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Anybody ever had anterior cervical fusion with plate?

Anybody ever had anterior cervical fusion with plate?

Routine: An anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (acdf) is a commonly performed procedure for cervical disc herniation pathology. The results are usually above 95% for healing of the fusion and for the resolution of arm weakness/pain in the appropriately indicated patient. Sometimes a plate is not necessary, depending on the pathology/surgeon/implants used. ...Read more

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What kind of complications might happen from an anterior cervical fusion?

What kind of complications might happen from an anterior cervical fusion?

See the list: Here are the risks: infection, bleeding, nerve damage, paralysis, loss of voice, ongoing numbness and tingling, failure to improve, failure of fusion, failure of instrumentation, stroke, heart attack, coma, damage to the trachea, esophagus, carotid or jugular vein, worsening of pain, need for further surgery, spinal fluid leak, or even death. ...Read more

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Is anterior cervical fusion recommended in young people? If internal fixation is done, am i very likely to suffer from it as i get old like in my 50s

Depends: Anterior cervical decompression and fusion (acdf) is common for cervical disk herniation unimproved after non-operative or conservative care. The fusion will put more stress on the level above and below the fusion, but the plate and fusion are highly unlikely to cause other future problems. ...Read more

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I just had an anterior cervical fusion and decompression/ what can I expect now?

I just had an anterior cervical fusion and decompression/ what can I expect now?

Common procedure: An anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with instrumentation is a common procedure to address cervical disc herniations, degenerative spondylosis and occasional to treat instability from trauma. A fusion will eliminate the motion at the involved joint segments. Most patients do well. For very good information and videos, check out spine-health.Com. ...Read more

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I will be having 5 level posterior and anterior cervical fusion. Any thoughts negative or positive?

I will be having 5 level posterior and anterior cervical fusion. Any thoughts negative or positive?

Big operation: These two operations, performed as one or two separate procedures, are very involved. There is high chance of having prolonged difficulty swallowing just from the muscle retraction during the anterior fusion. Both are painful. Fusion rate is lower with multiple levels being fused. There is always a risk to benefit ratio with surgery. Make sure the benefits outweigh the risks in your case. ...Read more

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When neurosurgeon says Necessity of a corpectomy and anterior cervical fusion, but not urgent, how do I interpret what he means? Wait as long I want?

When neurosurgeon says Necessity of a corpectomy and anterior cervical fusion, but not urgent, how do I interpret what he means? Wait as long I want?

Annoying!: Your doctor cannot have it both ways. Is there really any reason that he/she makes you wait so long while you are worrying? Hard to believe. If you are uncomfortable with this doctor, please ask your Primary doctor to refer you to a different Neurosurgeon. Hope all goes well! ...Read more

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Doctor suggests an anterior cervical discectomy plus spinal fusion. What is invovled in this?

Disc removed & fuse: The cervical disc is removed from the front thru the neck anteriorly along with any bony ridges compressing nerve tissue & the disc space is filled with a piece of bone from a cadaver or from another area in your body(iliac crest) or with a metal or plastic-like spacer(peek) filled with bone with screws thru these devices holding them in or with or without a plate and screws fitted to the spine ...Read more

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Are headaches after undergoing a anterior cervical discectomy plus spinal fusion significant or common?

They can be: Headaches are tricky, sometimes they are primarily caused by cervical spine problems, often times they are exacerbated by them, but it is difficult to predict whether surgery will ever help them, except in the case of an obvious c34 disc and radiculopathy with occipital nerve type pain which is mechanical. ...Read more

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Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more


Cervical (Definition)

Cervical relates to the first seven vertebra of the spine. It is related it the neck. Also it refers to the muscular opening/exit of ...Read more