Mark Santman, M.D.

Surgery of the Adult Spine in Round Rock, TX


Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF), Instrumented

An ACDF can be performed for a variety of cervical spine problems including cervical disk herniations, myelopathy (spinal cord injury), radiculopathy (nerve root injury) and ligamentous instability.

The surgery can be divided into three basic steps:
1. Taking the pressure off the nerves and spinal cord,
2. Fusion of vertebrae with bone graft,
3. Stabilization of the fusion with a metal plate and screws.


The surgery is performed through a small skin incision in the front of the neck. The esophagus and windpipe are pushed to one side, allowing direct access to the anterior cervical spine. With the aid of a high-powered microscope, the herniated disc and bone spurs can be removed with microsurgical instruments to relieve pressure on the nerves and spinal cord. The fusion is obtained by placing bone graft within the disk space. This bone graft maintains the disc space height and allows bone cells to grow from one vertebra to another. A metal plate and screws are placed over the graft and vertebra to stabilize the spine during the fusion (healing) process. The skin is closed with dissolvable sutures and sterile superglue.

Some patient’s may require a cervical collar after surgery. Most patients will have immediate relief of their arm pain.
ACDF Illustration
We are proud to provide leading-edge spine surgery service to the people of Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Taylor, Hutto, Lakeway, Elgin, Leander, Liberty Hill, Granger, Llano, Bastrop and the Texas Hill Country.

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