Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)


Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

This information is not meant to replace any personal conversations that you might wish to have with Dr Ajiboye or any other member of your healthcare team.


What can cause pain?

There are several primary causes of cervical spine problems. The majority of the symptoms are caused by disc, bone, or ligaments pressing onto the nerve roots and/or spinal cord.


Degenerative  Disc Disease (DDD)

During the natural aging process, the discs between each vertebral body can lose their flexibility, height, and elasticity. This can lead to a tear in the tough outer layer of the disc, causing the gelatinous core to bulge or herniate.  As DDD advances, osteophytes (or bone spurs) may develop around the discs and joints of the spine.

Nerve Compression

Cervical disc bulging or herniation can cause pressure on the nerve roots and/or spinal cord that may lead to symptoms of radiating arm, neck, and shoulder pain, loss of dexterity or motor function, and/or numbness and tingling in the hand or arm.


Spinal Cord Compression

In some patients, the spinal cord can be compressed by bony osteophytes (spurs), herniated discs, or by other soft tissues such as ligaments. This is often referred to as spinal stenosis, which can lead to symptoms including: radiating arm pain, arm and hand weakness and numbness, loss of dexterity and motor function, gait instability, and neck pain.

Trauma  and Instability

Compression of the cord and nerve roots can also be caused by accidents and injuries which damage parts of the spine. Some of the possibilities are traumatic disc herniation, facet fracture, ligament instability, and fracture dislocation.

Treatment Options

What are some of treatment options? Many symptoms can be treated without surgery including rest, heat, ice, medication, injections, and physical therapy. It is important to speak with Dr Ajiboye to consider your  best option.

If symptoms do not improve with conservative treatment, Dr Ajiboye may recommend spinal surgery. Surgery is reserved for those who do not gain relief from non-operative forms of treatment, patients whose symptoms are increasing or worsening, and/or patients that present with a spinal condition which indicates the need for surgery.


What is an Anterior  Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) procedure?

An Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) procedure is a type of cervical spine surgery where the surgeon approaches the spine from the front the front (anterior) of the neck (cervical). Dr Ajiboye removes the damaged spinal disc and inserts a bone graft (or implant) in its place. The goal of the procedure is to then stimulate the above and below vertebrae to grow together into one solid bone in a process known as fusion. Fusion creates a rigid and immovable column of bone in the problem section of the spine. This type of procedure attempts to reduce pain and other symptoms.

Anterior approaches, such as in ACDF, allow access to the discs at the front of the spine and do not require muscle stripping as in posterior approaches.



Can an ACDF Be Right For Me?

Dr Ajiboye might determine an ACDF procedure is a good option for you if you require an interbody fusion, are skeletally mature, and have received at least six weeks of nonsurgical treatment.  Conversely, he may determine that an ACDF procedure is not a good option for you if you are not a good candidate for fusion surgery in general due to other medical conditions. These conditions can be, but are not limited to: signs of inflammation or infection near the operative site, patient sensitivity to implant materials, patients with inadequate bone quality, and other indications. 

Minimally-Invasive procedures he may consider are:

  • Decompression, where they remove tissue pressing against a nerve.
  • Micro-Decompression

Surgery is always Dr Ajiboye’s  last result. Here are some non-surgical options he may recommend for treating neck pain:

  • Acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage, yoga, and Pilates
  • Chiropractic care
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy


Dr Remi Ajiboye is a minimally invasive spine specialist serving Torrance, El Segundo, Long Beach and the surrounding communities of South Bay, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Lomita, San Pedro, Carson, Lawndale, Gardena, Hawthorne, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Culver City, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, South Gate, Lynwood, Compton, Los Alamitos, Westminster, Garden Grove, Lakewood, Cerritos, Bellflower, Downey, Paramount, Bellflower, Norwalk, Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, Tustin, Fullerton, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and greater Los Angeles county and Orange County. Contact Remi Ajiboye, MD, online or over the phone to set up an appointment.

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