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.