Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion {ACDF) is a type of minimally invasive neck surgery, designed to treat nerve root and spinal cord compression. The surgeon performs a discectomy to the cervical spine in order to remove a herniated or degenerative disc and decompress the nerve roots and spinal cord to stabilize the vertebrae. Through this procedure, pressure on the area is relieved, and the corresponding pain and numbness is alleviated.

ACDF surgery uses specific instruments in order to avoid cutting into the soft tissues, and therefore causes less pain than traditional methods of surgery. The minimally invasive procedures used in this type of surgery are safer, quicker, and allow for a faster recovery time. In fact, most of these surgeries are performed in an outpatient setting, and patients are able to return home the same day of the surgery.

With ACDF, the incision is much smaller, so there is less blood loss and less pain that occurs. Because of this, the need for post-op pain medication is reduced.

Who Needs ACDF Surgery?
This minimally invasive procedure may be an option for patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy, a herniated or degenerative disk in the neck, cervical spinal, stenosis, and cervical spinal fracture.

Miami Neck Specialists can perform this surgery on patients suffering from disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and other spine and neck problems in Miami. Call for a consultation to find out if ACDF surgery is right for you. For those patients who do not have significant degenerative changes, disk replacement is another option and can provide the same great relief without the loss of motion.

The Sources of Neck Pain

Neck pain can have a variety of causes, from bad posture to tumors in the spine. Fortunately, the more common causes of neck pain can be treated and resolved.

Neck and Back Pain Causes: Whiplash and Spinal Stenosis
Whiplash happens when the head is snapped backward then forward or forward then backward. It often happens to a driver or passenger in a car that is rear-ended. It is also a risk in contact sports and amusement park rides. Women and girls are more susceptible to whiplash than men and boys.

The symptoms of whiplash are different for different patients and may develop immediately or days after the accident. In some cases, the symptoms develop weeks after the accident. Symptoms occur because the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the patient’s neck are strained or torn. They include:
• Pain in the back or front of the neck. The pain can be in the front and back of the neck simultaneously.
• Stiff neck
• Pain that may shoot down the arm, the lower back or the shoulder. An arm may also be weak, feel heavy or have numbness and tingling.
• Headache
• Blurred vision
• Ringing in the ear
• Insomnia because of the pain
• Trouble concentrating
• Memory problems

Spinal Stenosis
This is a condition that occurs when the space in the vertebrae that allows the spinal cord to pass narrows. This compresses the cord and the roots of the nerves that radiate out of it. The symptoms of spinal stenosis often start slowly and get gradually worse. The symptoms may be intermittent and are made worse when the person stands up or walks. Symptoms include:
• Pain in the neck and shoulders. This pain occurs when the spinal stenosis affects the neck vertebrae.
• Cramping in the arms.
• The arms may also be weak or numb.

Though most people acquire spinal stenosis because of arthritis or, less commonly, a herniated disc, some people are born with it. This is called congenital/primary spinal stenosis and is rare.

Headache and Jaw Pain

There are eight nerve roots that branch off of the spinal cord in the cervical spine/neck. They are known as C1-C8. Each nerve follows a distinct pattern and innervates different muscle groups. When a nerve in the cervical spine becomes pinched, the patient experiences pain in the pattern of that nerve. Nerves C1 though C4 radiate to the head and jaw causing headaches or jaw pain. Therefore, it is common for patients to feel headaches and jaw pain pain that is coming from an issue in the neck. In Dr. Brusovanik’s office, this is something he encounters on a daily basis. He is trained in distinguishing between these two types of pain and determining whether a patient’s pain is coming from his/her neck or another location. This is achieved by obtaining a detailed history, doing a thorough physical exam and attaining the proper imaging.

Shoulder Blade Pain

There are eight nerve roots that branch off of the spinal cord in the cervical spine/neck. They are known as C1-C8. Each nerve follows a distinct pattern and innervates different muscle groups. Nerves C3 though C8 pass through the shoulder. When a nerve in the cervical spine becomes pinched, the patient experiences pain in the pattern of that nerve, this is called cervical radiculopathy. Therefore, it is common for patients to feel shoulder pain and shoulder blade pain that is coming from an issue in the neck. In Dr. Brusovanik’s office, this is something he encounters on a daily basis. He is trained in distinguishing between these two types of pain and determining whether a patient’s pain is coming from his/her shoulder or neck. This is achieved by obtaining a detailed history, doing a thorough physical exam and attaining the proper imaging.

Benefits of Cervical Total Disc Replacement (TDR) versus Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

The procedures TDR and ACDF are similar in that they are both approached through the front of the neck. Dr. Brusovanik accesses the spine using minimally invasive technique. He does a small incision in the neck that is made on the front left side usually over a neck crease. With this technique there is no muscle injury. The disc is removed in both the TDR and ACDF.

In an ACDF (CPT code: 22551) an interbody device with bone graft is placed with a plate and four screws to hold it in place. Over the next few months, bone grows in the disc space connecting the two vertebrae causing fusion and stopping movement at this level.

In the Total Disc Replacement (CPT code: 22856) an artificial disc is placed in the disc space therefore normal motion of the neck is preserved at this level.

Common post operative symptoms in both procedures include soreness in the back of the neck and painful swallowing, sometimes these symptoms are less with a total disc replacement. Patients can walk the same day after surgery, they usually leave the hospital the next day. The day after surgery patients are able to go back to their activities of daily living 1-2 days after surgery.

According to the The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery (AAOS), studies have shown that risk of adjacent level disease, which is breakdown of a disc level above or below, is less with total disc replacement than with fusion.

Neck Doctor Miami X Ray

Back pain is a common problem. This pain can be truly debilitating. You dont need to rush into surgery. Its true, the surgical approach has changed dramatically. With motion preservation and minimally invasive technique, we can help most patients, but as I tell my patients – IF you were my family, I would tell you to try spinal epidural injections first. These injections are not a cover up.In many cases they allow my patient to postpone or avoid surgery. Dont hesitate, call 305 467 5678 and come for an evaluation today.

Facts to Know About Minimally Invasive Surgeries

If you or someone you know suffers from neck and back pain, you might be looking for an effective treatment option. The treatment depends on the nature or source of the neck or back pain. Recent advances in the medical field have ushered in the “superior” minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Read on to learn more about the benefits of this treatment option.

Benefits of MIS technique
+ LESS PAIN
Nerve pains can be your worst nightmare. Subjecting yourself to additional pain can be equally devastating. Minimally invasive surgical techniques can take care of these nerve pains. Patients that have undergone a spinal operation in Miami can attest to the fact that MIS is less painful since no muscle cutting is involved vs stripping the muscles wide open with the old fashioned techniques.

+ LOW CHANCES OF DEVELOPING COMPLICATIONS
Minimally invasive surgical practices reduce the likelihood of suffering from postoperative complications. This is attributed to the fact that incisions made on the patient during the operation are very small. Notwithstanding, the success rate is also high, and patients can start moving and walking around immediately after the surgery.

+ REDUCED SURGICAL TIME
Ideally, shorter operation times mean better efficiency and patients also spend less time under anesthesia than in open surgeries. However, the time taken depends on the proficiency or experience of the doctor. For instance, the duration of a compressive fracture surgery should take anything between 30-45 minutes.

+ MIS vs. Open surgeries
Any experienced surgeon should look at the pros and cons of having a minimally invasive surgery over an open one. In most instances, MIS is highly preferred over an open surgery. That said, MIS techniques are superior to open surgeries. It is important to note that MIS procedures are surgical operations, and therefore have some risk involved. Also, the surgeon might be forced to convert an MIS to an open one if the circumstances dictate.

Is your Neck Pain a result of Simple Strain or Serious Health Issues?

Neck Doctor Miami

When you wake up and feel a cramp in your neck, you may assume that the unusual feeling is a result of the much work over several days. Sometimes, you the repetitive poor sleeping posture can cause neck and back pain. The neck strain is severe to the extent that you cannot move your head.

But what do you do if the neck and back pain continues for several days or weeks?

Chronic Neck Pain and Cervical Spine Disorders Pain
The neck pain can occur not because of simple sprains or strains but cervical spine problems. A Miami neck doctor can perform a diagnosis and provide a treatment plan you need. The throbbing discomfort and ache you feel for days or months may occur for the following reasons:
• A strained tendon or muscle that gets torn or stretched.
• A sprained ligament.
• A sudden neck injury from whiplash or a fall

Stiff Neck and Back Treatment
Neck and back pain can range from dull to severe. Typically, NSAIDs, such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and heat therapy or ice therapy cures the neck and back pain stiffness. The neck and pain originating from the cervical spine disorders, herniated disc, degenerative disc diseases, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis can last many days and requires some specialized treatment by a neck doctor Miami.

Cervical Degenerative Disc Diseases and Disc Herniation
The neck and back pain that results from the cervical disc happen because of the degenerative process of your body organs. You can feel a radiating pain, numbness, or weakness in the hand, arm, back, neck, or shoulders as well as experience mobility challenges because of disc herniation.

Why does Disc Herniation Occur?
Your cervical discs are the natural cervical spine shock absorbers? The spine consists of seven bones- the vertebrae. In between the vertebrae are the gel-filled discs that cushion and stabilize the neck. If the discs have problems, you cannot bend the neck or move it sideways smoothly.A spine surgeon in Miami can find out if your cervical spine problem or radiculopathy, also called nerve problem, is the cause of the neck cracking, stiffness, and grinding that refuses to go away.