ACDF Surgery

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF): Your Guide from Top-Rated ACDF Surgeon in Orange County

As a leading ACDF Surgeon in Orange County, Dr. Lin not only provides excellent patient outcomes in orthopedic and spine care but also ensures that each patient understands the extent of each procedure — how it is performed and what the reasonable expectations may be after the procedure has been performed.

“He is very caring and friendly to his patients. Ask him anything, and he’ll be ready with an answer.” Yao Ming Huang, ACDF Patient of Dr. Lin

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery is used to treat damaged discs in your neck due to spinal stenosis. Typically, Dr. Lin performs this type of procedure on patients who are experiencing cervical degenerative disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or spondylosis.

You may benefit from ACDF surgery if you are experiencing inflammation, loss of flexibility, or pinched nerves. These conditions can lead to uncomfortable symptoms in your shoulders, arms, neck, and fingers. Candidates for ACDF surgery include patients who have worsening pain descriptive of radicular pain in the arm, neck, and/or hands.

Radicular pain is described as pain that radiates from the back or spine to the extremities.

The term anterior cervical discectomy and fusion refers to a procedure where the damaged disc is removed by a small incision made at the front of the neck, followed by the insertion of graft material and hardware to stabilize the vertebral bodies and facilitate bony ingrowth at the disc level and bony union.

As a top-rated ACDF surgeon in Orange County, Dr. Lin is highly skilled at this procedure, and uses state-of-the-art technology to perform ACDF surgery on his patients.

Born in Shanghai, China, Dr. Lin immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five. He has a unique experience and compassionate understanding of the cultural differences and nuances of both countries.

Fluent in Mandarin and Shanghainese, Dr. Lin is proud to serve the Chinese community as a leading orthopaedic and spine surgeon.

What is ACDF Surgery?

ACDF surgery is a two-part procedure where patients typically return home the same day. First, Dr. Lin removes the damaged disc and then fuses the vertebrae.

During this procedure, he makes an incision along the front of the neck and maneuvers in between the muscles to reach the affected disc(s). Depending on the extent of degeneration of the spine, multiple discs may need to be removed.

Next, Dr. Lin removes the affected disc(s) altogether. After he has carried out this step, there will be a void created between the vertebrae. The void is then filled with bone graft taken from cadaver bone or the patient’s own body, facilitating fusion between the two vertebrae. The source of the bone graft can vary. When bone is taken from the patient, it is known as an autograft. The most common donor area is the iliac crest, which is located in the patient’s pelvis. An allograft is when the bone is obtained from a cadaver, and comes in many shapes and forms for use in spine fusion.

The graft will be stabilized between the two vertebral segments using the body’s natural stabilizers, such as ligaments and joints, and the fusion part of the process can take up to a year. Further stability will be added using a metal titanium plate with screws placed into the bony tissue.

After surgery, Dr. Lin will monitor the fusion of the graft to the spine as healing occurs. Dr. Lin will continue to monitor the healing process to ensure that symptoms related to the condition are resolved and that no further surgical intervention is necessary.

Real-Life ACDF Surgery Experiences

Dr. Lin has treated hundreds of patients successfully with ACDF surgery. After a full recovery, many of them have discovered a new-found vitality and mobility.

“I cannot even believe how good I feel. Because of my experience, I feel that whoever has problems like what I was experiencing should go to see Dr. Lin. In my opinion, you should make the decision to see Dr. Lin because he is so professional, careful, and even enthusiastic every step of the way. Thank you very much, Dr. Lin, for changing my life.” Hai Lam, ACDF Patient of Dr. Lin

Hai Lam is one such patient. Before her surgery, she was struggling with serious pain in her neck and shoulders, which extended to her arms.

Hai also had numbness in her arms and legs, and could only use her right hand for certain tasks. Her mobility was very limited, and she struggled to perform daily activities. Hai also had severe headaches.

However, after Dr. Lin performed ACDF surgery, she felt so much better: “Almost all the symptoms, such as the neck pain, disappeared. I started to feel good — my left arm became stronger. I could easily fasten my seatbelt when I drove. There was no need to use only my right hand anymore.”

She adds: “Now I'm happy that I can cook and wash without any worry. I sleep well now, the constant pain is gone, and the feeling of being unbalanced. I don't have to take pain medication anymore, it's incredible. I cannot even believe how good I feel.”

What Are the Positive Outcomes of ACDF Surgery?

ACDF Surgery can bring you relief from neck pain and discomfort and enable you to experience better mobility and stability

ACDF Surgery can bring you relief from neck pain and discomfort and enable you to experience better mobility and stability.

While initially you won’t be able to lift a weight greater than 10 pounds or be able to bend over, on the advice of Dr. Lin you will soon be able to do so as you regain your strength and range of motion after your surgery.

Your ACDF surgery can also help to alleviate numbness in your arms, neck, and shoulders.

5 Common Questions About ACDF Surgery

What is the recovery time from ACDF surgery?

Your recovery time can vary depending on your general health and your surgery.

Listening to your body while following the advice of your surgeon is very important and can help shorten your recovery time.

After you have had the required rest and downtime, Dr. Lin can advise you on how soon you can return to your normal lifestyle.

How long before I can drive after ACDF surgery?

You should be able to drive again after two weeks. However, this can vary from case to case. Dr. Lin will advise you on when you can begin driving again after your procedure.

Can I shower after ACDF Surgery?

Showering should be limited to prevent infection after your surgery.

Your sutures need time to assist in the closing of the wound. Dr. Lin will inform you when you can shower regularly again.

Are there any symptoms I should be worried about after ACDF Surgery?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • You are struggling to swallow

  • You are overwhelmed by sadness and anxiety to the point of it being continuous

  • Fever of 101 degrees or higher

  • Discharge, pain, and redness where the incision was made

  • Constipation that can’t be relieved

  • Problems with your voice that last longer than a few days

  • Arm weakness or problems with walking and coordination

Will I lose my voice after ACDF surgery?

You may experience a hoarse throat and coughing a few days after surgery. Your voice should come back in a few days; however, in some cases it may take a few weeks to return after the procedure.

Schedule an Appointment with Richard Lin, D.O., Top-Reviewed ACDF Surgeon in Orange County

If you feel you need Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Surgery, you can call today to schedule a consultation with Richard Lin, D.O., at one of his offices in Tustin, Fountain Valley, or Anaheim.

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