Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion

This operation is usually performed for degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine, however, is also a very useful surgical management strategy for cervical spine trauma. The degenerative, or injured, intervertebral disc results in a combination of reduced structural integrity and neurological compromise. Either, or both, the exiting nerve root or traversing spinal cord can be compressed or threatened by the underlying pathology.

The surgical procedure approached the spine from the front of the neck and aims to remove the offending disc, thereby alleviating the neurological threat, and replaces it with a “spacer” device in order to restore optimal intervertebral height. Meticulous intraoperative preparation of the intervertebral interface facilitates the physiological process of fusion between the two adjacent bony surfaces. Fusion is the strongest, and most natural mechanism for establishing spinal stability.

Posterior Cervical Decompression

Advanced degenerative changes can result in a narrowing of the cervical spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord. This leads to progressive loss of function within the spinal cord. Approaching the spine from the back of the neck allows us to remove the vertebral arch and create additional space for the spinal cord.

The operation provides an improved environment within which the physiological recovery of the spinal cord, and its function, is allowed. The need for fusion of the adjacent vertebra is determined by the degree of spinal stability once an adequate decompression has been achieved.

Lumbar Discectomy

Degenerative changes within the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine can result in compression of an exiting lumbar nerve root. The problem can be addressed surgically by approaching the lumbar spine from behind and removing the offending disc material. The bulk of the intervertebral disc is left in position in order to preserve normal function.

A minimally invasive approach has been developed to achieve the required decompression without causing unnecessary muscle injury or spinal instability.

Lumbar Decompression & Fusion

Advanced degenerative changes within the lumbar spine can result in a combination of structural and neurological compromise. Spinal stability is adversely affected and results in a significant degree of back pain. Nerve root compression and compromise results in a combination of pain, altered sensation and weakness in either or both legs.

An effective decompression of the lumbar nerve roots requires extensive removal of offending vertebral arches, ligaments and enlarged facet joints. The fusion of the adjacent lumbar vertebra is often necessary to prevent further instability and pain.


Why Choose Us

Years of Experience

Hours in Theatre

Number of Operations

Number of Patients Treated


Patient's Testimonials

"I am forever grateful to Dr Crispin Thompson for what he, with his medical knowledge, achieved with my back. I have never had any back pain since my accident."

- Philip

"Dr Thompson was my medical support structure through my healing. We forged a bond that I learnt to rely on to retain my positive outlook. I think his transparency with regards to what and why this happened to me, his positive feedback and support played a major part in my recovery. I would never have been able to do this without his support and patience. Thank you Dr Thompson."

- Belinda

"Dr Thompson is very approachable and knowledgeable. He is prepared to spend time going into great detail explaining what the problem is, how to fix it and about the surgical procedure. Dr Thompson spent time explaining to my wife how the surgery had gone and putting her mind at rest. She told me later that she had felt greatly comforted."

- Ian

Our Contact Details

Room 183 Mediclinic Milnerton, Racecourse Rd, Milnerton, Cape Town, 7441

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021 529 9351
Mon-Thu: 8:00-16:00
Fri: 8:00-15:00

After-Hour Emergencies: 021 529 9000


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All appointments will be confirmed telephonically



T: 021 529 9351

P: Room 183 Mediclinic Milnerton,
Racecourse Rd, Milnerton, Cape Town, 7441

Get Directions

Mon-Thu: 8:00-16:00
Fri: 8:00-15:00