Dr. Neubardt Answers the Question: “What’s The Difference Between Anterior and Posterior?”

You may hear the terms “anterior” and “posterior” when speaking with your surgeon. It is important you understand what the terms mean so you know what type of surgery is suggested for you.

The difference between anterior and posterior is simple: anterior means near or towards the front of something and posterior means near or towards the back.
In minimally invasive cervical spine surgery, an anterior approach would mean the incision is made toward the front of the neck. When taking a posterior approach, the surgeon will usually make a midline incision or off to the side, approaching the spine from more the back of the neck.

In video above, Dr. Seth Neubardt, one of New York City’s top doctors doing minimally invasive cervical spine surgery both from the anterior and posterior approach, demonstrates the difference between the two.

If you are having the minimally invasive anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), you now know this procedure is done from the front, or anteriorly. If a foraminotomy is the recommended procedure for your herniated disc, this minimally invasive surgery is done from the back, or posterior. These are the two common surgical approaches to treating the cervical herniated disc, also called the slipped disc in the neck.

Although some patients are afraid of having surgery from the front of the neck, Dr. Neubardt explains that it is actually a quite safe and simple approach. Watch the video to find out why.