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Posted in: Body mechanics, and Neck pain.

C456 Disc fusion - Neck Swelling?

Started by SAM810 on 08/14/2010 1:43pm

I had surgery April 2010 all seems well with the exception that I have difficulty swallowing. This started a few days ago (August 10). I went to my surgeon and he said he could see swelling in the xray. He said that this is common and should go away with time. I was wonder if anyone else has had the same issue? I find it difficult to swallow food/beverages and I find myself swallowing constantly. My neck is itchy as well and the sugerical site did not closeup as well as I expected.

Another thing, I feel like my neck gets caught. The only way I can explain it is when a zipper gets stuck and you have to move it to adjust it. Wondering if that happens to anyone else as well.

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2 Responses


I am not a professional, but a fellow C456 spinal fusion patient. If your swelling gets worse, by all means, keep in touch with your surgeon.

I'm just surprised the problem with swallowing did not start until August. I could not swallow right away. As I was being released, the nurse gave me pills to swallow, which promptly got stuck. It took almost two hours to get the pills to dissolve enough to go down. I was in tears, scared, and totally unprepared for that possibility. It took a couple of days for me to get the swing of moving my neck toward what felt like the open side of my throat. It became almost a smooth dance happening inside my neck to maneuver toward a more amiable outcome in the swallowing process. As I started working with my throat to discover what I thought would be my permanent route of swallowing, the swelling began to subside. The extreme swelling that almost closed off my breathing has stopped.

It has only been from May 2010 to today (aug 15, 2010) and I can now swallow all of my medications together in one handful as I did before the surgery. (Yes I am on many meds). Once in a while, if I get too overconfident, a pill may touch the inside of my throat in such a way as to remind me that I REALLY DON'T want to go through a swollen throat again, and it is still a little soon to expect perfection.

Relax. Work with your throat. As you swallow, visualize a smooth passage of that food/liquid slowly melting down your throat toward your stomach. If your throat is sore on one side, actually visualize AND move your throat toward the open side slowly continuing to swallow. Then what's that saying..."This too shall pass".


about the itching! Dermoplast spray. It has an analgesic...causes the itch to stop, and healing to start. I wish someone had told me that two months ago. I believe I would have been further along with the healing process.

I hope physicians read this and realize their patients could be better prepared if they give actual practical advice on care after the surgery.