Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion (ACCF) in Paramus, NJ

Spine surgeons use anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) surgery to help alleviate symptoms caused by spinal cord compression in the cervical spine. The procedure involves removing a portion of the vertebral body and disc between adjacent vertebrae and creating a fusion with bone grafts or spinal instrumentation. This fusion stabilizes the spine, and by improving symptoms such as neck pain, numbness, weakness, and difficulty with fine motor skills, it effectively prevents further spinal cord or nerve root compression.

While it’s a major surgery, ACCF has a high success rate at enhancing patients’ quality of life. You can contact our Paramus ACCF surgeons at NJ Spine & Orthopedic today if you need help relieving pain due to a herniated disc, collapsed disc space, spinal tumors, or other degenerative disc diseases. 

Preoperative Evaluation For an Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion Surgery

Before a patient undergoes an ACCF procedure in Paramus, a preoperative evaluation is necessary. It assesses their overall health, identifies potential risks that would interfere with surgery outcomes, and determines if the patient is a suitable surgery candidate. An ACCF evaluation consists of a physical exam, imaging studies, and a neurological assessment.

The patient’s vitals, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, are taken during a physical exam. Doctors also assess the range of movement, muscle strength, and reflexes to rule out or diagnose any pre-existing neurological deficits that may affect surgical outcomes. X-rays allow a detailed look at the cervical spine alignment and fusion status, while a CT scan details the bone structure and any compression on the nerves or spinal cord.

An MRI is necessary for evaluating the spinal cord, nerve roots, and intervertebral discs. The test can detect spinal cord compression due to disc herniation, tumor, or other pathology so the surgeon can plan an ideal surgical approach. A neurological assessment is also an integral part of the preoperative evaluation for ACCF surgery. It helps determine the severity of the nerve root or spinal cord compression, including pinpointing any pre-existing neurological deficits.

A thorough preoperative evaluation is necessary, as it helps identify potential risks and establish the optimal surgical approach to ensure the safety and success of an ACCF surgery.

Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion Surgery Procedure

Neurosurgeons perform an ACCF surgery on a patient’s neck to relieve spinal cord or nerve root compression caused by various degenerative disc diseases. The patient is placed under general anesthesia, and a spine specialist will then make an incision in the front of the neck to expose the affected area in the vertebrae. The damaged or diseased vertebrae is excised, including any bone spurs that may be bringing about the compression.

Next, the surgeon will replace the removed vertebra with a bone graft or artificial spacer to help stabilize the neck. The graft material can be synthetic, but it’s often taken from the patient’s hip bone, which is then held in place with medical-grade instrumentation such as plates and screws designed to bond with the bone. The bone graft gradually fuses with the adjacent vertebrae. It forms a solid bone architecture that stabilizes the spine and relieves symptoms like pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs.

Patients need to wear a post-surgical cervical collar to support the neck during the initial healing period. Rehabilitation and physical therapy play an important role in building neck and upper body strength and mobility. Recovery time can vary from patient to patient, but generally, most can resume normal activities within weeks to several months.

Postoperative Care Following an Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion Surgery

Postoperative care after an anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion procedure helps ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Most patients may be hospitalized for a few days post-surgery for proper pain management and monitoring of any post-surgery complications. ACCF involves working near the spinal cord and highly sensitive nerves, so nerve damage during the procedure may occur, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Hardware failure
  • Bone graft collapse
  • Postoperative hoarseness
  • Swelling around the surgical site is normal after surgery
  • Difficulty swallowing as the esophagus may be irritated, and  
  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia or other medications used during the procedure

Discussing these potential complications with your surgeon before undergoing ACCF surgery is the best course of action. They can provide you with more information about the risks associated with ACCF surgery so you can make an informed decision. 

Follow-up imaging studies are mandatory after an ACCF surgery in Paramus to monitor if the implant or bone graft used for spine stabilization fuses properly with the surrounding bone. After the procedure, follow-ups will be scheduled, as regularly assessing bone fusion progress mitigates potential complications, such as hardware failure or infection.

Get Help From Our Skilled Paramus Spine Specialist Team at NJ Spine & Orthopedic Today

ACCF can be used to treat spine conditions such as cervical spondylosis, herniated discs, tumors, spinal fractures, and more. The procedure has a high success rate in relieving neck or arm pain and weakness. Patients need to work closely with their healthcare providers to manage pain, monitor for complications, and optimize their rehabilitation.

At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our Paramus ACCF surgeons and neurosurgeons specialize in all types of spinal diseases and procedures. Schedule a consultation with a spine health doctor by calling (866) 553-0612 or submitting our online contact form to discuss your candidacy for ACCF surgery in Paramus, NJ.