Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF): Anyone had this?

Posted by mikaylar @mikaylar, Apr 12 8:49am

Having this done at C5-6. Has anyone had this?

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Not yet but I am having it done for C4-5 June 11th.


Let's stay in touch 'cause mine is May 8th.


@mikaylar I am and ACDF patient myself and had a very good outcome. My surgery was at Mayo with a single level C5/C6 fusion done without hardware and I stayed in a neck brace for 3 months until it began to fuse.

There are many different hardware choices in cages used as spacers after the bad disc is removed. Mine was done with a cadaver bone disc and my surgeon said it heals better with this instead of using foreign materials. I do not have a plate on the front of my spine. Some spacers are made with angled screws that don't require a front plate, but are held by screws. I opted for no foreign materials as my body doesn't like that.

We have lots of discussions about ACDF procedures and patients' experiences both good and otherwise. Here are a lot of discussions where you can connect with other members with this experience.

Triple ACDF

post failed ACDF

Migraines after first and second ACDF

ACDF surgery recommended for C3-C7 - is it worth it?

Multi Level ACDF C4-C7

Spine fusion and Evenity


Oh wow! Thanks for all the infor.


@mikaylar - I had a 4-level ACDF in Feb of 23. I thought the surgery was reasonably easy to tolerate and as I write this (14 months post surgery) I feel 99+% recovered and back to normal. The only outward sign of surgery is a few-inch-long incision along my collarbone.

Unlike Jennifer (and I've learned to always listen to her sage advice) I did have a fusion done to connect the four levels of vertebra that were involved. I also had titanium perforated disks installed (rather than bone disks) - perforated to allow new bone growth to weave into the new disks for a firm hold. I wore a neck brace for six weeks.

I suggest you pre-think what you might need to help smooth your early recovery when you are best to be cautious and follow the doctor's orders. Having someone there - at least in the initial days - was a great help to me.

Best of luck!


Thank you so much, Phil for all the info. I am scared but I can do this. I have had shoulder surgery, open heart and thyroid surgrries, so I should be able to handle this one. Ha!


Ask your surgeon if it's computer guided.


Ask your surgeon if it's computer guided.

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@denheels From what I hear, the robotic assisted spine surgeries are usually more complex like those instrumented with rods and screws. The screw placement at the lower end of the spine is very critical because if the screws are at the wrong angle or not in exactly the right place, they can pull out causing the hardware to loosen. The low end of the spine has a lot of extra pressure on it because it is bearing most of the body weight so this is critical to the success of the surgery.

With deformity spine surgery, sometimes the surgeon has to remove a pie shaped section of a vertebrae and piece it back together to straighten it and it fuses back together. There is a lot of math calculations of angles if this is needed for several levels on a big surgery. Precision would matter in that situation too.

I haven’t had a surgery like that, but I have listened to presentations of complex cases from spine conferences.


Mine have been computer guided. The radiologist's report on the follow up said "The alignment is virtually anatomic."

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