Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)

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

A minimally invasive anterior cervical discectomy & fusion (ACDF) involves removal of a damaged disc and replacement with an artificial model. The prosthetic model is then fused into place with a bone graft to provide extra stability to the spine.

The fluid movement of our spine depends greatly upon the health and functioning of our intervertebral discs. Structured like a jelly donut, our spinal discs consist of a strong, rubbery exterior that is filled with a jelly-like interior. These rubbery discs, made up of fibrocartilaginous protein, function as shock absorbers, lubricators, and connectors for the vertebrae of the spine. When something goes awry with one of these crucial discs, the symptoms often don’t go unnoticed.

Occurring most often in the cervical or lumbar portions of the spine, a bulging or herniated disc can lead to a multitude of troubling symptoms. Potential symptoms include: localized pain at the site of disc damage, radiating pain from the neck and into the arms or legs, and muscular weakness or stiffness. In very severe cases, immobility, paralysis, or loss of bowel and bladder control can occur.


Surgery may be required to address these incapacitating symptoms, and an ACDF may be the right procedure for the job. An ACDF addresses disc conditions that affect the neck and accesses the damaged disc from the front (or anterior) of the spine. Your surgeon will make a small 2-inch incision in the front of the neck and move muscular and vascular tissues to the side using retractors. The damaged disc will be partially or completely removed through the use of specialized instruments and the assistance of X-ray imaging. An empty space will be left behind where the disc was once positioned. To remedy the instability that this empty space would cause, your surgeon will implant a bone graft that will bind the spinal vertebrae permanently together. Over time, this bone graft will fuse to existing bone, thus restoring the structural stability of the spine.

Worried that your neck condition may require an ACDF? Our award-winning team at NYC Spine has over 20 years of experience in performing a wide range of discectomies and artificial disc replacements.  Known for our family-like atmosphere and compassionate treatment of patients, our team of spine specialists will ensure that you receive superior care as you navigate the recovery process.

Can an Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) help me?

Answer questions about your pain history & we'll recommend the best treatment options for you.

What are the Benefits of a Minimally Invasive Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)?

A Minimally Invasive Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF) has many benefits, many of which stem from the procedure’s anterior approach to the cervical spine. These advances in knowledge and technique have made for greatly enhanced surgical outcomes. Some of the benefits of an ACDF include:

  • Smaller Incisions: An ACDF uses smaller incision sizes than traditional procedures, which also leads to less scarring, blood loss, and shorter recovery times.
  • Less Trauma to the Body: With an anterior approach to the spine, the large, strong muscles and ligaments of the back do not suffer any damage or disruption.
  • Shorter Hospital Stays: Many minimally invasive ACDF surgeries allow for shorter hospital stays; most patients are only required to spend 1 night in the hospital under medical supervision.
  • Shorter Recovery Time: Less trauma to the body also allows for shorter recovery times, enabling you to resume your everyday activities as soon as possible.

Minimally invasive ACDF surgeries are state-of-the-art procedures that provide relief to many patients. Dr. Frazier, world-renowned spine surgeon, has paved the way for minimally invasive surgery through years of personal research and professional development. With over 20 years of pioneering experience, Dr. Frazier has mastered both conservative and minimally invasive care. You can trust his internationally recognized expertise to guide you through the recovery process.

How do I know if I need an Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)?

Request a free MRI review & our world-renowned orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Frazier, will evaluate your treatment needs.

Do I Qualify for an Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)?

If you are experiencing the negative side effects of a bulging or herniated disc in your cervical spine, then a minimally invasive anterior cervical discectomy & fusion (ACDF) may your best option. If more conservative therapies such as physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and pain management techniques have failed to provide you with adequate relief, then ask your physician about an ACDF.

For some patients, their circumstances may not permit them to undergo an ACDF procedure. One situation that may bar someone from undergoing an ACDF procedure involves the appearance of an infection near the surgical site. Other restrictions include: allergies to any of the surgical materials, those who have yet to attempt at least 6 weeks of conservative therapy prior to requesting surgery, certain vascular disorders, or other serious medical conditions.

If you are interested in the possibility of receiving an ACDF, contact NYC Spine today. Our team of spine experts will collaborate with you to assess your specific situation and draft a comprehensive treatment plan to address your pain. Don’t wait any longer!  NYC Spine is ready and willing to help you find relief.

Am I a candidate for an Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)?

Determine your eligibility for conservative & minimally invasive treatments.

Dr. Frazier is a Harvard-trained, board certified orthopedic spine surgeon. He’s held an academic appointment at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York’s SUNY Downstate. Dr. Frazier is also a respected lecturer, accomplished researcher, published author on spine disorders and treatment, and a consultant for several international spine companies.

After completing his undergraduate education at Brown University, Dr. Frazier attended Harvard Medical School, where he graduated cum laude. He completed a Harvard internship based at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA, followed by a Harvard combined residency before becoming chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Education & Training

  • MD / cum Laude, Boston MA

    Harvard Medical School

  • Residency, Boston MA

    Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency

  • Chief Residency, Boston MA

    Harvard Mass. General Hospital

  • Spinal Deformity Fellowship, Miami FL

    Doctor's Hospital, Shufflebarger Fellowship

  • Academic Appointments, NY, NY

    Columbia University; SUNY Downstate

  • Consultant, Lecturer

    Nuvasive, Depuy & Stryker International Spine Cos.