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Can't sing after ACDF!!

I had an ACDF of C3/4/5 11 weeks ago today.
I had swallowing problems after surgery, but they are almost back to normal now.

What I am finding is that I cannot sing! Lower notes are easier than higher notes, but if I try to sing much my voice gets even worse and then I can't make much sound at all. It also starts to hurt, like I have strained my voice.

I am wondering if anyone out there could share their story with me.
Did you have singing voice problems (my speaking is mostly ok unless I talk for long, or am passionate about what I am saying, then my voice will go hoarse and squeaky)?
How long did it last?
Did it ever resolve completely?
Did you have any sort of treatment for it?

I am wondering if I should let anyone know about this. I also wonder if I should sing at home to try to improve things, or should I avoid singing to rest it.

At church yesterday, after trying to sing several songs, my throat started to hurt and then my voice (even my talking voice) went all croaky and weak.

I look forward to hearing how others have coped :-)


  • humanshishkabobhhumanshishkabob Posts: 65
    edited 01/21/2013 - 7:16 PM
    Dear Jellyhall,
    I had a laminoforaminotomy and discectomy 15 weeks ago and have trouble singing, too. Mine is not an ENT problem but a pain problem- I can't get a nice deep breath all the time and sing consistently without hurting. My support hasn't returned. However,you sound as if you may have a physical problem--have you spoken to your GP about this? If you were intubated during your surgery, the anesthesiologist may have accidentally scratched your larynx. Your GP or an Ear, Nose Throat specialist might need to scope your laryngeal/pharyngeal area to make sure it is OK. If you are normal, perhaps gentle vocalizes, gargling with warm salt water, and babying your voice will help. My voice hasn't come back yet, but I am practicing every day to help get it back in shape. Singing is one thing that has made me feel better since surgery and through pain. Please call your doc to see if he/she can help you. You deserve to be able to sing with less discomfort. It is something that gives me a bit of joy, and I hope you can do the same. I wish you the VERY best!
  • alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
    edited 01/21/2013 - 10:31 PM
    What makes you think you could sing before the surgery ? Surgery probably just caused your ear drums to pop and you are no longer tone deaf !

    Sorry just kiding of course, I would not strain the vocal cord and let it rest and wait see what hapens,
    It should get back to normal.

    Best of luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,

  • Alex, have you been talking to my husband?!!!

    I did see a speech therapist after my surgery because of the swallowing problems I was having, and also strange noises I was making when I swallowed. I would make a 'croak' which she said was coming from my vocal cords and also a 'squeak' that she said was coming from my palate. I still make the squeak when I swallow a liquid. Sounds like a baby bird squawking for food!

    The speech therapist said if I was still having problems with the swallowing by February, to phone her and let her know. I guess I'll phone her and ask her about the awful singing!

  • ...that perhaps my ACDF surgery IMPROVED my singing voice! I am told I have a great speaking voice (which came back perfectly after 35-37 days), but I never thought to explore my singing voice since the surgery!

    Wow, wouldn't that be cool!

    I'd definitely put a call in and if nothing else, ask if there is any link between the swallowing and the voice. They may be two different things completely.

    Good luck to you!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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