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What causes throat problems after surgery?

sparkyonessparkyone Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I'm scheduled to have surgery on September 22. The surgery will involve fusion at 3 levels with a cage and a plate. I have read numerous posts that describe throat pain, trouble swallowing, lump in the throat, etc. weeks, months and even years after the surgery. What causes these post operation throat problems? Does the hardware cause these problems?

I have a problem with allergies and I am constantly stuffed up. The thought of any kind of throat swelling or blockage terrifies me.

Thanks for any kind of help.




  • David,

    First off Welcome to Spine Health!! You will find a lot of really nice and helpful folks on here. At the top of each web page is a 'search box' to which you can type in to do more research. Many articles, and too posts will come up for you to look over. Here's a link that might be of interest to you.


    Most people are lucky in that they only have a sore throat for a period of 1 to 3 weeks. What can cause problems? Vocal cords can be over stressed or paralyzed, hardware movement (me), fusion failure etc. The article above will answer many of these questions for you. I hope this helps. Take care, and Welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I think that the throat problems generally come from being intubated and moving the esophagus and voicebox aside for three hours during surgery.

    My throat really wasn't too bad after the ACDF - it's really an individual thing, some are worse than others. I was able to swallow very easily after my surgery, although my throat was sore for a while, and my voice was raspy for a couple of months.

    Take care and good luck on your surgery.
  • As stated above each person recovers at their own pace. According to everything I have read their is less than a 1% change of permanent damage to vocal cords. Unfortunately I fell into that 1% category. However, I am diabetic and do not heal well at all. All of my doctors said it can take up to one year to get a full functioning voice back. So I waited the one year until I saw an ENT to confirm the paralysis diagnosis. Speech therapy has helped alot and I would certainly be consideed a rare case.
    Do not worry, will keep you in my prayers. I am sure you will do just fine. Hoping for many pain free days ahead.
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