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Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a widely used technique for the operative treatment of disc herniation, spinal tumors, spondylosis, and injuries. During this procedure a disc fragment (herniation), tumor, osteophytes or fracture fragments are removed from the spinal canal, allowing the surgeon to treat a nerve root or spinal cord compression -- with the purpose of eliminating back pain.
ACDF is recommended when conservative nonsurgical treatment measures have failed and patients continue to experience neck and/or arm pain. This technique has been successful even if the patient has had prior surgery and often there are few complications. Recovery and a return to normal activity usually take about three months.