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.