Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion (ACCF) in West Orange, NJ

ACCF surgery helps to relieve pressure on the spinal cord caused by conditions that affect the vertebrae in the neck, such as cervical spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and tumors. The procedure aims to restore spine stability and promote the fusion of the affected vertebrae by preventing further damage to the spinal cord or disease progression.

For that reason, the surgery is highly recommended when other non-surgical interventions have failed to alleviate pain and are performed to help improve a patient’s quality of life. ACCF surgery is carried out by skilled neurosurgeons or orthopedic spine specialists in West Orange, NJ, to provide significant relief for patients with cervical spine conditions.

Candidate Evaluation Before an ACCF Procedure in West Orange

A candidate for ACCF will often have notable neck pain and also experience arm weakness or numbness that has not responded to physical therapy or medication. They should have a stable cervical spine and no considerable health concerns that would jeopardize surgery outcomes. Mandatory diagnostic tests include:

  • X-rays to assess spine alignment and stability.
  • A CT scan, which will give detailed images of the cervical spine.
  • Electromyography (EMG), which assesses nerve function to rule out or identify nerve damage.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can help identify any disc herniation or spinal stenosis within the spinal cord or nerve roots

Before surgery, a neurosurgeon will discuss the risks and how the procedure benefits the patient. For example, bleeding, surgical site infection, nerve damage, and fusion failure are potential risks of a West Orange ACCF procedure. 

Even so, the benefits often outweigh the risks because patients will be pain-free with improved mobility. The doctor also informs you about the type of anesthesia used, the incision location, and the expected recovery period. Preoperative evaluation for an ACCF procedure is essential, as it ensures the patient is well-informed and prepared for the surgery.

What Is the Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion Surgical Procedure? 

Neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine specialists employ the ACCF procedure in West Orange to relieve pressure on the spinal cord caused by a diseased vertebral body in the neck region. The surgery involves removing and replacing the damaged vertebral body with a bone graft fused to the adjacent vertebrae. The patient has to be under general anesthesia when the surgeon performs the surgery to access the cervical spine and expose diseased or damaged vertebrae.

It’s then removed, along with anything else that may compress the spinal cord, to create a space between the remaining vertebral bodies. A bone graft is inserted into the space created when the damaged vertebrae are excised. An autograft may be taken from the patient’s hip bone, or surgeons can also use a graft from a bone bank.

The neurosurgeon then employs metal rods, screws, or plates to hold the vertebrae in position until the bone graft is fully fused with the adjacent vertebrae. After the procedure, the incision is sutured or stapled shut, and the patient is monitored in the recovery room before being admitted to a hospital for further observation. The recovery period typically involves physical therapy and rehabilitation to help the patient regain mobility and strength.

Postoperative Care Following Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion Surgery

After an ACCF procedure in West Orange, patients usually stay in the hospital for a few days, where spine specialists can prescribe medications to alleviate pain and infections while monitoring vital signs. Upon discharge, patients must follow specific postoperative instructions as outlined by their doctor, including activity restrictions and wound care recommendations.

Joining a physical therapy and rehabilitation program is highly recommended for patients who need further assistance with strength building, flexibility training, and improving range of motion in the neck and upper body.

Follow-up appointments are generally obligatory to address any concerns or complications and ensure proper healing. Surgeons may use imaging tests to evaluate bone growth and fusion during regular check-ups, which help doctors monitor a patient’s progress and adjust their treatment plan as they see fit.

Potential Complications of an Anterior Cervical Corpectomy and Fusion Procedure in West Orange, NJ

There are several benefits to having ACCF surgery. It may alleviate spinal cord and nerve compression and boost spine stability and mobility. The procedure also relieves pain, numbness, and other symptoms that can enhance a patient’s overall quality of life. But, as with any surgery, non-invasive or otherwise, associated complications may occur.

Bleeding is a common risk of any surgical procedure, as well as deep infections at the surgical site that may require prolonged antibiotic treatment or additional surgery. Neurological complications may arise from spinal cord or nerve damage during surgery. Other issues include hardware failure, difficulty swallowing food or liquids, and a hoarse or weak voice.

Pseudoarthrosis, where bone fusion does not occur properly, can lead to instability and pain in the cervical spine, meaning that a revision spinal surgery may be necessary. However, not all patients experience these complications, and the likelihood of them happening varies depending on a variety of factors that a spine specialist surgeon can discuss with you in more detail.

Speak to Our Specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic in West Orange, NJ

Anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion is the go-to surgical procedure for patients that need to relieve spinal cord pressure brought on by conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. 

If you’re unsure whether the ACCF procedure is right for you, the specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic in West Orange, NJ, have the expertise and experience to correctly diagnose and treat various back, neck, and spine conditions. Our team can help you determine whether an operation is required and, if so, which approach offers the most relief and a fast recovery time. Let us help you improve your chances of successful treatment by calling (866) 553-0612 or submitting an online contact form to schedule a consultation.