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C5-C6 cervicle neck surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello I'm new and I was reading several of your posts and have a question of my own. I am a singer and I am deathly afraid of permanently not being able to carry a tune. Has this happened to anyone here? Is it temporary? Also, all in all are you glad you had the surgery. The whole things scares me :S


  • Also, if my pain goes away and the numbness stays in my hand, should I consider not having the surgery? Currently the pain comes and goes somedays good somedays o.k. Not as severe as it used to be. Does this mean I'm healing or did all of you have good and bad days?
  • Last month I went through for C6/7. There was an insert of a tube through my nose to my lung to hep me to breath during the surgery. Immediately after surgery, the nurse called my closed friend on the mobilephone and I spoke to him. I sound great onthe phone with no lost of voice. Once back to my ward, I called my pastor and some friends on my mobilephone with my closed friend and my wife and child next to me.

    What you need is to have a positive mind and the courage to go through the surgery.

    Thank God that we have this forum for people who went through a similar situation to share with us. I went through without knowing or even don't have the opportunity to know about this forum. It was after post-op that I found out. I am glad I made the right decision to go through the surgery. I am pain-free now and even now, there is no surgical wound pain since I came out of the operating theatre (OT).

    I hope you search the forum, gathered more information and make an informed decision. At the end of the day, if surgery is not what you want to go through, seek alternative treatment.

    Read my story in my post and see the pictures that I taken during my stay in the hospital pre-op and post-op. I hope after reading my story, you will be encouraged. You will no longer be nervous instead you will rise up and be bold and be courageous. So be bold ! Be strong !

    Oh by the way, I still sing with my voice intact but I am not a singer. I sing during Church worship service.

    Cheers !
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  • Before I was wheeled in the operating room (for thyroid surgery), the anesthesiologist told me I could lose my voice. I was a teacher, so that was the worst thing to say, especially since the surgeon already told me the possible risks. What a jerk!!

    This surgeon told me it could happen, but only rarely. Getting back to cervical spine surgery, one surgeon told Dave that it could happen. He made out like it was somewhat likely. I didn't like his attitude, and crossed him off the list. The surgeon who did his surgery never mentioned voice problems and Dave didn't have voice problems.I think the first guy was covering himself---maybe he isn't as careful as he could be. I would ask the surgeon his percentage of voice problems after surgery.
  • I had some problems being pretty hoarse for about 2-3 days after my C4/5 and C5/6 surgery. It subsided after that. Now I am almost 4 weeks post op and I still feel like I have a golf ball in my throat. Still have problems swallowing pills and some foods. Here lately my voice seems different I cant really explain it just different. Just ask your doctor his percentage of voice problems from previous patients. I knew all of the risks going in for my surgery my surgeon was very honest with me. Yes I was scared before hand, but I prayed and left my surgery in Gods hands.
  • Thanks everyone for your remarks. I am encouraged after reading them. I guess what I need to remember is that I need to remain positive and trust the Lord to take me through it. Also, Paulgla my surgery will be a fusion on C5 & C6. I have a very large C6 herniated disk and a degenerative disk on C5. The surgeon said he would take care of both of them at the same time. I've been through PT, cortizone and sometimes my neck just feels like it is not strong enough to hold up my head, pain in my right arm and numb index finger. My surgeon did tell me that there were always risks to this surgery as far as my voice but he said he has not had anyone with permanent voice damage so that is encouraging. I guess what I think about is should I tolerate the pain and live with it or should I get the surgery and be done with it hopefully! I have good and bad days did you guys? I'm over 4 months into this and I still have pain some days worse than others. Is it possible that it could still go away? I do appreciate all of your help and glad to hear so many positive remarks. Terri I hope your swallowing improves. Has your doctor said that in some cases having that feeling in your throat this long is normal? I hope you get better soon! Thanks again guys!
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  • Terri, I had ACDF c5-c7 w/ plate and screws in March of 2008. When I was 4 weeks post op, I still had a feeling like there was a golf ball made of mucous in my throat. I ended up reading online somewhere that it is very common for that to occur, and after about 2 more weeks, it had improved drastically. Now, I have NO swallowing problems at all. Now, I do still have some neck pain. But, I have no arm/hand pain and the pain between my shoulder blades is gone. Most of my pain comes from doing too much.

    I still have shoulder pain, but it ends up that I have severe glenoid hypoplasia in that shoulder, so I'll have to have that fixed.

    Anyway, I'm glad I had the surgery. I also felt like my neck couldn't support my head. Just remember, this surgery takes a long time to recover from. I went back to doing desk work at my job after 10 days, but take as long as you can.

    If you have any other questions, let me know.
  • My surgeon well twice since surgery. Once the day after in the hospital when he discharged me and then for my 2 week post op. I did tell him I was having swallowing problems then. He said it was probably from swelling. I go back to see him again on 9-17-08. Yeah I know the throat issue will go away eventually, but yesterday morning I literally was choking on a pain pill I had halfed.(Gasping for breath the whole 9 yards....I freaked my 12 year old son out bad not to mention myself.) Needless to say I havent taken another one since.
  • If you weren't nervous, then I'd be worried. You should be back to singing shortly after surgery but as your surgeon probably told you, there is always a chance for complications. The swallowing issue is not from the intubation tube that they would be using but from them moving your esophagus to the side during surgery. You will probably be hoarse after surgery but that will come back also. That is due to the tube that they use while you're under. The complications for losing your voice would be if they damage the vocal cord nerve, which they can not see during your procedure. You will be fine. Keep positive thoughts. Remember, all surgeries have possible complications.
  • Thank you Rhw62 for your positive remarks. Unfortunately once you mention what you may have done, everyone that ever had that surgery or knows someone that did tells you about it. I had someone tell me that they were told they could be paralyzed.....I really didn't need to hear that! I realize there are risks to everyone but I am confident that my surgeon knows what he is doing and will rest in that. Thanks again!
  • Hi Nervous1. First off welcome to SH. It's a great community w/ a ton of support!!! 2nd, please take everything I have to say w/ a grain of salt because I seem to be the statistic maker :( where all of my previous surgeries are concerned.

    Like you I was a singer before I had my ACDF. I spoke at length w/ my NS about this prior to surgery. Though he said that there's always a possibility that a voice could be altered, it's usually unlikely. I asked him for a ball park estimate/statistic. He told me for a permanently altered voice i was looking at something like 10,000 to 1. Sadly I was that 1 =(( :( =((

    I'm now about 8 1/2 months post op and my singing voice is about as good as it was 2 weeks post op. Though I physically healed from the ACDF fairly quickly the emotional healing is still coming along. I went into a sort of depression that I'm slowly working my way out of. I talked w/ my husband about it and I decided that after 8 months and NO change in my voice it was time to seek the advice of a voice specialist. I decided a couple weeks ago that I was going to make an appt w/ a voice doctor to see if maybe they can determine what it is that's causing my voice to not work like it used to.

    My appt is Sept 5th. I'm nervous, scared, anxious & a little excited. If there's something that can be done, NON SURGICALLY of course, to fix my voice you'd better be sure I'm gonna do it. I so miss singing like I used to. I found the facility that I'm going to thru my doctor (and boss). The head MD at this facility is a colleague of my boss. I trust my doctors advice on referrals. I was especially excited after I read their blurb on the website about evaluation and treatment. This is what it had to say.

    What evaluation and treatment methods are used at the Midwest Voice Center?
    The Midwest Voice Center offers the finest equipment available for the evaluation of vocal dysfunction in the Twin Cities. Our digital laryngeal stroboscopy allows for comprehensive assessment of the vocal fold's structure and vibratory characteristics. Sharp, clear, permanent images are stored digitally to compare pre- and post-treatment studies. In addition to video stroboscopy, The Midwest Voice Center utilizes acoustic analysis of speech and voice, alaryngeal speech rehabilitation, voice therapy and functional endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). Examinations are completed in a comfortable outpatient setting requiring only topical anesthesia.

    To answer your OP, Yes this has happened to me, no mine wasn't temporary & Yes I'm glad I had the surgery. The discomfort of the tingles and pain are gone and that's good. The only thing I would have changed is I would have researched the procedure as a posterior operation as opposed to the anterior.

    I hope your procedure goes well and you come out of this singing like you did before the surgery. My only saving grace is thankfully I have almost ALL of my recorded singing saved on my computer and stored online. Though I can't sing anymore I can at least still listen to my old voice :-)


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