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Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion Risks and Success Rate in Portland, Oregon

What Are the Risks of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion?

One risk is that the bone placed between your vertebrae might not fuse and there would be a nonunion of this area. However, we find that the fibrous tissue and scar tissue that form are usually enough to take care of the pain relief. Nonunion happens about 2% of the time in nonsmokers.

Infection is a complication that occur about 1% of the time. This may require further surgery, and / or antibiotics.

Another risk is that of damaging the vocal cords so that you may be permanently hoarse.

Other potential complications are damage to the esophagus and arteries in the neck area. These are potentially very serious complications, which may lead to severe neurological complications, including paralysis. However, the incidence is extremely low.

The risk of spinal fluid leak is less than 1% but can lead to a prolonged hospitalization while patients recover.

What is the Success Rate for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion?

There is approximately a 90% chance you will benefit from the operation. There is a chance that the symptoms may be worse; however, those chances are slight.

When Should You Have Surgery?

Our overall advice for this type of surgery is the same for any other spine surgery, which is to live with the pain you are experiencing if you can. The reason for undergoing the operation is that the pain or weakness is making life so uncomfortable or difficult that you are willing to accept the chance of a result that is less that 100% successful.

Dr. Button is very experienced in anterior cervical discectomy and fusion and if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss this or other procedures further, click here.

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