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Diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis. Having neck pain, stiffness, numbness in left arm. Treatment?

I have been diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis and need to have surgery on C6 & C7 discs. Have seen a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon. Both agree surgery is needed but they each take a different approach. One recommended an ACDF going into the site from the front of the neck. The other recommended the surgery doing an anterior procedure. I am confused as to why there are differing approaches to the same problem. The symptoms have been present for a couple of years: neck pain and stiffness. Now I am experiencing arm pain and numbness and tingling of the left arm. Physical therapy was attempted for 4 months and brought relief temporarily, but now the symptoms have returned and worsened. I m not sure which surgical approach would be best for me.
Asked On : Wed, 27 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  46
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Spine Surgeon 's  Response
Thank you for your question.

ACDF stands for ANTERIOR Cervical Discectomy and Fusion. So it is an anterior procedure. I think both your surgeons mean the same that they want to approach the problem from front. The incision for this will be on either left or right side of the midline. Technically this is a correct approach for a single level stenosis. Another approach used is posterior (back of neck) approach that is generally useful to address multilevel stenosis.

Hope this answers your query. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Answered: Fri, 6 Sep 2013
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