Text Size: A A A
SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!

1 yr post ACDF C 3-4 and 4-5 still with swallowing issues

From: justturned50 - on 10/27/2010 11:09pm

Hello to all

I have had 3 total cerv surg., one 20 yrs ago 6-7, one 10 yrs ago 5-6, one one yr ago C 3-4 and 4-5. One of the areas of last surg fused and one didn't. Area of spinal cord with signal abnormalities prior to surg., after surg pain was greater. MRI then showed myelomalacia at 4-5 (softening of the spinal cord) The last surg. the doc removed one small plate and replaced it with a bigger one from C 3 through C 7.

Swallowing issues (getting food caught in throat just at level of scar) this was only supposed to last a few weeks. Here I am a yr later. Had EGD scoped throat and all was normal. Now they advised me to have video swallow. Has anyone else ever had this or heard of this? I can't find a soul that has.

Now my spinal cord is being "mildly flattened" at one of the levels. I am assuming its either from the area graft not taken (cadaver bone) or there are still many areas of hooking osteophytes surrounding. The dr. said that after a while he'd need to go in through the back and do a "french door" style surg. to open all areas to make room for my cord. I have so many issues I really don't know where to start.

Please anyone - ever heard of this?

Any advice would be so helpful.

Thanks, Just

Do you find this discussion helpful?
0

4 Responses

Like/Dislike
0
on 11/14/2010 5:45pm

I had the C6-C7 fused in 1994 and have had swallowing problems on the left side of my throat. I've commented on it several times to my doctor and he doesn't know why. Looks at me like "Are you for real." Look. 1/4 of my spinal cord was calcified and they cleaned as much out as possible. So I have 3/4 of my spinal canal working and that (the swallowing sensation we feel) could have effected the sensory nerve making it feel like we can't swallow. That's my opinion because no doctor has yet to explain it to me. The other thing is that by stretching the Larynx, esophagus and other things may have caused one or more of these muscels to become weak.

The video swallowing is basically just a scan (Possibly Ultra Sound) that shows you swallowing and how it travels. I've never heard of it; but I'm sure it's a simple test to show any absturction in the Esophagus. They did a Nuke Test on me that showed me swallowing and showing the peach all the way to my stomach, then some milk, and then tuna fish to help diagnose that my Gallbladder didn't work and it took for ever for me to diagest my food.

If you have found the answer to this question since you posted your blog. Please inform me so I can have a sold answer as well. Other wise I'm sticken to my theroy. YES it does make swallowing food hard because we have that choking sensation like pressure. It's a very annoying feeling and crackers don't go down very well.

Like/Dislike
0
on 12/08/2010 3:00pm

I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM YOU ARE HAVING. IT TOOK 3 YRS FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO SWALLOW GOOD.AT TIMES I STILL GET FOOD STUCK. THE SAID MY SURGERY CAUSED THIS FROM ALL THE NERVES AND MUSCLES THAT WAS STRETCHED DURING SURGERY.
AFTER C3-C7 FUSION,PLATING,HARDWARE,AND BONE GRAFT THEY LEFT C3 DISC SMASHED ON CORD. AFTER4 YEARS I HAD TO HAVE UNROOFING OR LAMINECTOMY C3-C7 TO TAKE PRESSURE OFF CORD.I ALSO HAVE PROGRESSIVE MYELOPATHY WITH MYELOMALICIA.
NOTHING ELSE CAN BE DONE.ILL BE A QUAD SOMEDAY FOR SURE.TRYING TO ENJOY WHAT TIME I HAVE LEFT.THE VIEDO IS TO MAP YOUR SWALLOWING TO SEE IF ANYTHING CAN BE DONE FOR YOU. ASK ABOUT THE LAMINECTOMY TO GET PRESSURE OFF YOUR CORD. DONT TAKE NO FOR A ANSWER. LONGER YOU HOLD OFF,THE WORSE THE CORD WILL GET.
THE LAMINECTOMY FROM C3-C7 TOOK ALL PRESSURE OFF MY CORD BUT I GUESSIT WAS TOO LATE. I WISH YOU THE BEST.HOPE THIS HELPS.IF MY FINGERS WERE NOT SO NUMB I COULD TYPE BETTER.

Like/Dislike
0
on 01/05/2011 12:41am

I had a swallow study done a month ago. I was found to have the plate that covered the spinal fusions was placed too far forward inside my throat, the epiglottus (the pieve of tissue inside your throat that when you chew your food and it gets to the back of your tongue - the epiglottus flaps down and closes your airway so that you never aspirate your food) Well, the plate won't allow enough room for the epiglottus to do itd job so it looks like an upside down umbrella and food, fluids, puddings all get caught in it. If I drink liquids sometimes it will allow my food to "unstick" and go down, it not I have to hock it up (sorry to be so gross). So the Dr trying to uninspire me to have a swallow study telling me that "it can't be fixed anyway, I now know why.

I HIGHLY recommend EVERYONE who has this issue to have the swallow study done.

I have a 2nd opinion with diff doc this week - he specializes in necks and fixing others mistakes.

I will let you know what happens - I hope you all get this. So depressed. Everytime I hack up food - 3 out of 4 times it scratched my throat and causes an infection. Every other month I have to go on a antibiotic. As the infected bacteria goes down into my throat and lungs. I now know why. So confused, pissed, depressed. He told me that there are 2 levels that aren't fused.so that may mean the plate can't be taken out. Find more out this week hopefully/

Like/Dislike
0
on 02/09/2011 1:24am

I started out with 2 fusions in my neck and couldn't swallow without it seemed like a pocket or something in my throat that would just hang up anything I swallowed. Sometimes I think I would have choked to death if I wouldn't have had water, and even then it took a while to get it unstuck. I finally found another surgeon because the first surgeon kept saying everything was fine. Come to find out one fusion had failed and a screw was backing out. When the 2nd surgeon repaired the failed fusion and also had to do the ones above and below to make 4 fusions with one long plate and 8 screws the swallowing got back to normal very quickly. If you are going to the same Dr. try a different one. They don't seem to want to admit they screwed up and will let you think its all in your head. I am still thinking about a attorney on that one. He even lied about my last MRI before I changed Dr.s. And I have the paperwork showing where he said everything was fine after the MRI confirmed failed fusion and hardware. If I was in better shape I'd just deck the guy. Anyway you can always ask for another MRI and maybe that would show whats up.

Cancel
Delete