Patient Information. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Surgery (ACDF).

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1 Patient Information. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Surgery (ACDF).

2 Understanding your spine Disc Between each pair of vertebrae there is a disc that acts as a cushion to protect the vertebra, allows motion, and maintains the height between the vertebrae to leave room for the nerves to exit on each side. Disc herniation When one or several discs are damaged due to injury, trauma, or natural aging of the spine. Part of the gel-like center of the disc leaks into the gap between the vertebrae where the nerves and spinal cord run causing disc herniation. A herniation, a loss of disc height, or a slippage of one vertebra over another can reduce the amount of room for nerves and the spinal cord to pass. For some people, there are no symptoms associated with this condition but others feel pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation in their neck and/or arms. Decompression A procedure that removes the pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. Spinal cord Disc herniation Intervertebral nerve Disc

3 Cervical spine/neck Begins at the base of the skull and stops above the shoulders Part of the spine that gives the most motion Composed of 7 vertebrae (C1 C7) and curves forward (lordosis) Back/ Posterior Thoracic spine Composed of 12 vertebrae (T1-T12) that hold the ribs in place Very stiff compared to the rest of the spine Curves backward (kyphosis) Lumbar spine/ lower back Composed of 5 large vertebrae (L1-L5) that carry most of the body s weight Allows motion, especially bending and rotation Curves forward, like the cervical spine Front/ Anterior Vertebra Disc Sacrum Composed of 5 fused vertebrae Connects with the pelvis Coccyx Usually contains 4 bones Also called the tailbone

4 Patient Information. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Surgery (ACDF). Your surgeon has determined that your spine condition requires surgery and that you may benefit from anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery (ACDF). This brochure is designed to provide you with basic information on the ACDF procedure. What is a fusion? A spinal fusion is a surgery designed to join two or more vertebrae by encouraging bone to grow between them. Why is a fusion done? There are a variety of conditions that can be treated with a fusion. These conditions include vertebral damage or intervertebral disc degeneration due to age, injury or trauma. These conditions can lead to: Loss of disc height Disc herniation Slippage of one vertebra over another Neural compression When these events lead to pain or numbness, a fusion can be performed to restore the height of the disc space, decompress the nerves, and immobilize two or more adjacent vertebrae. The goal is to reduce or eliminate pain.

5 What is the ACDF procedure? In an ACDF procedure, your surgeon will operate on your spine from the front of your neck (anterior cervical approach). He or she will remove the diseased disc(s) (discectomy) and replace it with an implant called a spacer to restore the disc height and allow bone to grow between your vertebrae. In addition, your surgeon may place a plate to stabilize your spine while it is fusing. Allograft spacer Autograft Top view of disc space with ACF Spacer and autograft What materials may be used to replace the disc? Allograft Allograft is bone or soft tissue that is derived from human bone tissue donors and is transplanted from one person to another. An allograft spacer is machined from donated bone that is eventually remodeled (changed) into your own bone. Advanced ACF Spacer: Allograft

6 Autograft Your surgeon may choose to take bone from elsewhere in your body, usually your hip, to place as a spacer in between your vertebra. He/she can also place it within the central opening in the spacer to promote fusion. This is called autograft. The advantage of collecting the bone graft from your own body is that there is no risk of disease transmission. However, you may have two scars and experience pain at the second surgical site. PEEK PEEK is a plastic that has been used in many spine implants for many years. PEEK spacers are a synthetic alternative to bone spacers. They are carefully engineered for use in the spine. The fusion occurs through the autograft placed within the openings inside the spacer. Zero-P PEEK spacer with integrated plate Frequently asked questions Are there risks associated with ACDF surgery? There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Some of the risks associated with ACDF surgery include, but are not limited to, nerve damage, painful or difficult swallowing, or not achieving fusion. Talk to your surgeon to understand all the risks of this surgery. What are the surgical alternatives? Your surgeon will review your condition with you and explain your options including, but not limited to, physical therapy, medication and other fusion or nonfusion surgeries. A fusion surgery can also be performed from the back of your neck (posterior approach). Only your surgeon is qualified to treat your condition and decide which approach is best for you.

7 What should I expect before and after my surgery? Your surgeon will go over special instructions to prepare you for your surgery and your recovery. Be sure to follow his/her recommendations. Zero-P implanted: PEEK spacer with intergrated plate Spacer and Vectra plate

8 Patient Information. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Surgery (ACDF). Surgeon info About this guide This guide is provided to you by Synthes Spine. Its intent is to give you general information about one of the procedures your surgeon is considering to treat your condition. It is not designed to replace a conversation with your surgeon. Please ask your surgeon if you would like additional information or if you have more questions about anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery. Only your surgeon is qualified to treat your spine. Synthes is a leading global medical device company that develops, produces and markets instruments, implants and biomaterials for the surgical fixation, correction and regeneration of the human skeleton and its soft tissues. The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) MTF is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 by academic orthopaedic surgeons dedicated to providing tissue of the highest quality and safety for transplantation. MTF has distributed millions of allografts since its inception and has never experienced a case of viral disease transmission. This exemplary safety record is directly attributed to its commitment to provide physicians and recipients with the assurance that this gift of human tissue is safe and that it comes from a trustworthy source. For more information on MTF, visit Synthes, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Zero-P and Synthes are trademarks of Synthes, Inc. or its affiliates. Printed in U.S.A. 01/12 J10739-A

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