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Cervical Myelopathy – ACDF vs Cervical Disc Replacement

January 17, 2022


An ACDF is a motion eliminating fusion operation that stops the two vertebrae that are being fused from moving against one another. A cervical disc replacement is a motion preserving option that allows the pressure on the spinal cord and nerves to be effectively removed, but does not require a fusion and elimination of motion between the two vertebrae. There are situations where an ACDF is a preferred option to a cervical disc replacement, such as in a situation where there’s significant arthritis in the neck, or if there’s any instability or abnormal motion that already exists between the vertebrae. In those situations, it is more preferable to perform a fusion operation rather than a disc replacement. However, in younger patients with relatively less arthritis and no instability and better bone quality, a cervical disc replacement is a preferred option of the preservation of motion and a reduction in the risk of needing additional surgery down the line because of disc breakdown above and below the segment that’s being operated on.

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