pain management doctors in Tampa

What is an ACDF?

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a type of neck surgery that involves removing a damaged disc to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviate corresponding pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. The adjacent vertebrae are then stabilized, the graft is placed in the space that once held the disc, and finally the surgical hardware for the fusion is positioned. A discectomy is a form of surgical decompression, so the procedure may also be called an anterior cervical decompression.

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pain management doctors in Tampa

What is an ACDF?

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a type of neck surgery that involves removing a damaged disc to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure and alleviate corresponding pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. The adjacent vertebrae are then stabilized, the graft is placed in the space that once held the disc, and finally the surgical hardware for the fusion is positioned. A discectomy is a form of surgical decompression, so the procedure may also be called an anterior cervical decompression.

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What to expect during your surgery?

After entering the operating room, you will be administered anesthesia to put you to sleep. The anesthesia team will go over all questions you may have regarding anesthesia prior to your surgery. The surgeon will make a small incision at the front of the neck towards the left side of the windpipe. Once inside, the surgeon will then remove the problem disc and insert the graft where the disc had been. A compound will be used to fill in the space between the vertebral bones and finally, a small metal plate will be attached to the front of the two vertebrae using tiny screws. This permanent plate helps hold the bones in place while you heal. The procedure typically takes about 1-1 ½ hours to complete. The fusion can take 9 months to 1 year to totally fuse.

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What to expect during your surgery?

After entering the operating room, you will be administered anesthesia to put you to sleep. The anesthesia team will go over all questions you may have regarding anesthesia prior to your surgery. The surgeon will make a small incision at the front of the neck towards the left side of the windpipe. Once inside, the surgeon will then remove the problem disc and insert the graft where the disc had been. A compound will be used to fill in the space between the vertebral bones and finally, a small metal plate will be attached to the front of the two vertebrae using tiny screws. This permanent plate helps hold the bones in place while you heal. The procedure typically takes about 1-1 ½ hours to complete. The fusion can take 9 months to 1 year to totally fuse.

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What happens after surgery?

When you wake up you will be in recovery (PACU). The nurses will monitor your vitals and provide medications to control the pain. You may or may not have a drain located in the surgical site (instructions for emptying the drain/removal will be provided via the nursing staff). If the drain is placed, do not change the dressing until the drain is removed. You will be given a follow-up appointment to be seen in the office for drain removal.

  • You will be up and walking a few hours after surgery to help reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • Once home, take care of your incision site and protect your neck by returning to activity slowly. Make sure to call your doctor and make any necessary follow-up appointments.
  • Restrictions include limit bending and twisting with the neck and no lifting over 10-15 lbs for 4-6 weeks.
  • A neck brace must be worn for the first two weeks when ambulating

What Our Clients Say

Compassionate, Highly Qualified

“Dr. Patel and Dr. Rodrigo are compassionate and highly qualified physicians who have helped me tremendously with my injury. I am very grateful to have found them. Their staff is also very helpful and welcoming. Highly recommended if you need pain management!” 

Joshua K.

Amazing, Friendly Staff

“Wonderful,friendly, kind staff. Always goes the extra mile. Always willing and eager to help when needed. Everyone in office is amazing. From the front office to the nurses and doctors and referral coordinator and office manager.”

Traci G.

Overcame Opioid Addiction

“Dr. Rodrigo is the best at his profession. My husband who is a Marine/Army vet was addicted to opioids for years becasue of his back injury and now is able to do small things without so much pain. Thank you so much guys. To those who complain about the wait… it is worth every second!!!”

Joan B.