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problem with plate ACDF 5 and 6

I am new to the site, and am hopeful for any help as I am miserable. I had my surgery September 26 2012. Surgically I did very well and the neurosurgeon was happy with the outcome. Nerve pain is now gone. What I am dealing with for weeks is the feeling I got something stuck in my throat, with pain like someone is rubbing a cactus down my throat, even my throat feels sore 24/7. Talking, turning my head side to side, or any activity seems to make it worse. My neurosurgeon suggested I see a ears/nose/throat specialist. I saw this specialist and he scoped my throat, didn't see anything, ordered a MRI and that came back normal. The pain is awful, seems to be worse on the left side of my throat. If anyone has any insight, or has experienced this please contact me. I am a pretty strong person but this is really getting me down as I expected to be so much better by now.

Thanks in advance,


  • kristine7997kkristine7997 Posts: 24
    edited 12/01/2012 - 5:32 PM
    I had same thing done October 15th of this year. My throat got better after a week then acted up again two weeks later. Now almost seven weeks later I still have problems swallowing. Most of the time it's if I do too much I feel like something is in my throat or sort of choking me. Then when I take my medication (I take daily medications-3 different ones for depression and OCD) my second pill because it is larger gets stuck in my throat. Sometimes it takes me up to four minutes to get it down. It seems my gag relfex is sort of gone now cause before surgery if that happened the pill would come back up now it just sticks there. It's quite horrible and I hate to take the medicine somedays cause it makes me nervous. I haven't asked my neurosurgeon about it I figure it is just something that I might have to live with as the surgery could cause throat problems. I don't have it constantly but enough to bother me, I could swallow my pills ok today but tonight even now I feel like I'm being choked.
    C-6 C-7 Cervical Spinal Fusion October 15, 2012
  • Thanks Kristine

    I am just hoping that someone will say it takes more time, it will get better. I am a very active person, I find this so difficult. I have dealt with other health issues and recovered really quickly. Any suggestions any body??

  • I am sorry that you are still having problems after your ACDF surgery in September.

    I had a 2 level ACDF on 5th November and am still having problems swallowing.
    I did have a very sore throat after the surgery, but that is gone now. I had it for a couple of weeks, I think.
    I think the feeling that there is something stuck in your throat is quite common, but I am not sure that you should still have such a sore throat after this time.

    I was referred to a speech therapist because of my swallowing problems. I also make strange noises as I swallow liquids, particularly water. As I swallow each mouthful of water, I make a strange 'squeak'. This happens every time and is very audible, even to people sitting 10 feet or so away from me. The speech therapist says that this is coming from my palate. I also make a 'croak' noise, but this happens less often. The speech therapist has said that this is coming from my vocal chords. There was talk of me having a barium swallow test to watch and see what is happening, but as I feel that the actual swallowing is getting easier, we have decided to wait a bit longer to see if it resolves.

    I can understand that if you are getting pain all the time from your throat, this must really get you down. Perhaps it is time to go back and see either your surgeon, or your own doctor to get a plan to further investiage what is going on.
    I do hope that you will get some help or that this will go very soon.

    My brother-in-law in Australia had an ACDF done about 6 years ago, and he says that he still gets occassional problems if he eats something dry or hard and is not concentrating on how he is eating.
    I choked this evening on a sip of water, and I realised that I wasn't concentrating on my swallowing!
    I am looking forward to getting back to just being able to eat and drink without having to concentrate on how I am swallowing.

    I have read that sometimes it can take a few months for this problem to resolve.
  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find this issue can be fairly common. I had somewhat the same issue as you did, only nothing could go down except liquids. But also I had a bridge built onto a plate I already had. I went to a gastrologist whom ordered the barrium swallow test which revealed the plate was the issue. Now in come cases it is not the plate and they can do a esophagus stretch. If your plate is the issue once you are fused they can remove it, as you don't need it any longer. So sense you had no help with the ENT maybe try the gastro doctor, and see if they have more answers for you.

    Now of course you could wait and see if auto corrects itself, but if it your miserable then maybe that is where you should start. Also I take it that you have been swabbed for streep. Anyway just thought I would welcome you to spine-health.
  • Hi Sharon! I am new here too although my 2 level acdf c4 to c6 was my second spinal surgery. I have precisely the same sensations particularly after I have swallowed a large hard pill- the next several days my throat feels like the pill might still me lodged half way down, my throat gurggles and I feel as though I need to drink gallons of water to move it. But the similar sensation which I am not sure had anything to do with the swollowing problem is the feelin like a cactus is poking me alongside the left side of my throat. Especially if I mistakenly turn my head to the left. I am going to read through all the data here to find out what this is coming from and how to cope with it if it becomes chronic. Best wishes to you all.
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