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Ear pain following C56, C67 fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 3 weeks post-op, discectomy with fusion of C56, C67. Five days after the surgery I developed horrific inner ear pain that is present all the time but enhanced when I swallow. My general practitioner (office is much closer than surgeons) thought it was an infection. One week of antibiotics did nothing. Returned to the surgeon at 15 days post-op, checked with the ENT at that office. My right vocal chord was paralyzed and he thought the nerve affecting the vocal chord might be radiating pain to an ear nerve -- no sign of infection. Six days on steroids to reduce inflammation and still no relief. Pain meds (hydrocodone/aceteminephin) take the edge off but doesn't make it go away completely.

My neck feels fine, if I could get my voice back and get rid of the ear pain I'd be doing great -- although my energy level is still extremely low.

Any thoughts?


  • There's another post about hearing loss after cervical surgery, maybe in the neck issue forum. I think haglandc "c" had some issues too. Search the cervical spine forum because I think that's where I saw it. I know of other members who had vocal cord issues, too.

    You are only 3 weeks out, so I would imagine you are quite low on energy! Keep bugging those docs about your issues till you answers you are satisfied with. You paid them big bucks for this surgery, make sure you are satisfied with the answers.
  • Hi, I had almost complete hearing loss and bad ringing in my left ear after surgery and got steroid shots in the ear for it with pretty good success (see my other thread cited above, thanks enurse!), but I did not have pain. Still, if the ENT thinks it's related shots might be worth a try if the oral steroids don't work. In my case everyone swore it was unrelated to surgery but the folks here suggested a variety of possibilities and it seemed too much of a coincidence, though I may never know. You may want to go to an ear specialist for a second opinion, the first ENT I saw referred me to one for the shots.
    Hope you get some relief soon, I am about 90% back to normal with only low ringing these days. One word of warning: the shots may hurt (take a pain med before you go) but will make you VERY dizzy for about 60 seconds. It goes away quickly tho!
  • petechambersppetechambers Posts: 3
    edited 02/22/2014 - 1:30 AM
    after my surgery i had same thing doctors told me never seen that be for and same pain all the time five years what i like to now did the doctor tell you you have this be for surgery
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Went to the family Dr previously thinking I had a ear infection and was told it was due to my neck surgeries. Lucky for me it only flares up every once in awhile
  • I am 16 days post op (ACDF) and I've begun to have ringing in my ears. I really didn't think much of it until I read this post. I haven't lost my hearing but my left ear aches, as if I'm getting an ear infection. It's not unbearable but do you think I should check in with my surgeon anyway?
    Herniation of l5 S1 l4 , DDD , microdisectomy in June 2013 and re herniation in September
    Cervical herniation at C5-7 Jan 2014 with impingement of spinal cord. 2 level cervical fusion Feb. 2014 and 2 level lumbar fusion in April 2014
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