ACCF vs. Other Spinal Surgeries: When Is It the Right Choice?

Medically Reviewed by NJ Spine & Orthopedic on May 6, 2024

Spine conditions are common among adults, and some conditions have more severe symptoms than others. Pain, numbness, and tingling sensations may be treatable with medications or steroid injections, but nerve compression and instability of the spinal cord may require surgery. One such surgery required in more severe cases is anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF). This procedure is commonly used to remedy multilevel stenosis in the cervical spine that is putting pressure on the spinal cord due to bone spurs.

If you are experiencing debilitating symptoms of spinal stenosis or other spine conditions, you should explore all of your treatment options. Consulting with a trusted medical professional is the key to finding the best treatment plan for you. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our board-certified surgeons know when ACCF is the right choice to treat certain spine conditions, and we are ready to discuss your situation and determine your treatment plan.


What Is Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion?

ACCF is an extensive procedure in which a surgeon removes an entire vertebral body and also performs a spinal fusion. Other spinal surgeries may require the removal of only a problematic intervertebral disc, but ACCF requires the removal of bone spurs, affected discs, and the entire vertebrae. This total removal relieves the immense pressure on the spinal cord, and the pain caused from such pressure should subside after surgery. Once the necessary vertebral body has been removed, the surgeon utilizes a bone graft to perform a spinal fusion. The purpose of the bone graft is to fuse the remaining vertebrae together and keep the cervical spine stable.

Most medical professionals will try to treat spine conditions with more conservative methods at first; however, surgery may be required in cases of extreme compression on the spinal cord and nerves. When symptoms are debilitating and other conservative treatments fail, ACCF may be necessary to treat the following conditions: 

  • Cervical spinal stenosis
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Cervical disc herniation
  • Cervical spinal tumors

Doctors should work closely with their patients and carefully consider all treatment options before recommending surgery. 

What Are the Benefits of Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion?

ACCF is an effective way to decompress the spinal cord and affected nerves by totally removing a problematic vertebral body. After undergoing ACCF, patients will most likely experience relief from numbness, tingling sensations, and debilitating pain. While other treatments like medications and steroid injections provide temporary relief from symptoms, ACCF is a more permanent solution. Additionally, the spinal fusion performed during ACCF ensures that the patient’s cervical spine stays aligned after the removal of the vertebral body.

ACCF effectively treats severe spine issues. However, with that being said, the recovery after ACCF is lengthy. Typically, the patient must take it easy for the first four to six weeks after undergoing ACCF, and they should refrain from twisting their necks. Some neck movement is allowed six to eight weeks after the operation, but patients must give their bodies enough time to heal. While the recovery period is not short, many patients benefit from ACCF because they finally experience relief from the painful symptoms caused by their severe spine conditions.

Contact the Medical Experts at NJ Spine & Orthopedic Today to Discuss If You Qualify for Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion

You deserve to be able to move your body and live your life without constant back and neck pain. If pain medication, physical therapy, and steroid injections are not relieving your symptoms caused by certain spine conditions, you may be a candidate for ACCF. ACCF will result in the removal of the vertebral body that is compressing your spinal cord and the fusion of the remaining vertebrae. 

Our skilled surgeons are board-certified, and they are ready to discuss if ACCF is right for you. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we want you to find relief from pain and improve your quality of life. You can call (866) 553-0612 or fill out our contact form to discuss your treatment plan today.

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