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I have a ACDF 2 level surgery scheduled for July 24th. I have had a back fusion so I know a little about spine surgery recovery BUT I am scared to death of the throat thing. The lump in the throat and sometimes feeling like it is gagging you. Has anyone had this lump and how did you deal with it?


  • I would be concerned if you weren't scared of the surgery. Anytime we face surgery, we should have a healthy fear of the what if's , and have concerns about what the outcome should be. Have you discussed the swelling/lump in the throat feeling and asked him what he suggests? I have't had cervical surgery so I can't make much in the way of suggestions about it, other than maybe using some throat numbing spray if it is bothersome post op.
    I'm sure that others will have many more suggestions from their experiences.
  • I don't blame you for fearing the lump in your throat that can happen after an anterior approach to cervical fusion. I, too, have had lumbar fusion and a smooth recovery, and am also facing cervical spine fusion (C2-C5) in the near future and while I don't know yet whether it will be an anterior or posterior approach, I have a hunch it will be anterior and I'm right there with you on fearing the feeling of a lump in my throat! I get freaky about that kind of feeling when it just happens because of swallowing something the wrong way, etc, so I'll be some kind of freaked out basket case if I have it very bad post-op!

    I know this hasn't helped your concerns, but just wanted you to not feel alone on this. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I may be different from most on here because I am only 29 but I had no ill reaction to my ACDF surgery. I had ACDF from C4-C6 in August of last year and was able to eat "normal" food within 4 days of the surgery. My scar has completely flattened out and I have zero swallowing issues. The ACDF seems scary because it is through the front of your throat and they have to push your esophogus(SP) to the side to gain access to your vertebrae but, at least as explained by my neurosurgeon, it is a realtively simple and common procedure. Express your concerns with your doctor but I truly think you will be just fine. It is far worse and more painful having posterior cervical surgery than anterior because with anterior they are not separating a lot of muscles. With posterior they literally have to "filet" your muscles away from your spine. Best of luck to you.
  • I knew that if I put it out there (on this forum) that I would feel better. The answers have definitely made me feel better. Just for the record, it was my first question to the surgeon, who also said not to worry. He will be careful and my throat should not be a problem. He said that my other surgery (lumbar fusion) was a lot worse that cervical surgery and I went thru that like a champ at which my husband (caretaker) spoke up and said..you were not a home with her when she was in pain. Doc knew me like a book..said, this time YOU give her the pain meds instead of waiting for her to take them. I am so afraid of pain meds, but more afraid of lumpy throats. Thanks everybody!
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