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Throat pain 3 1/2 months following ACDF

dehoyos13ddehoyos13 Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone. Is there anyone out there who still had throat pain 3 1/2 months after ACDF? I can touch my throat and feel the plate the dr put in there and it hurts to talk much longer than half and hour or so. I mean serious hurting...like needing Vicoden hurting.

Its so good to have less pain at the back of my neck but this throat pain is terrible. Sometimes it hurts so much I'd rather not eat, than deal with swallowing.

Advice anyone? I've searched online but can't find too much. Thanks all!



  • Yvonne,

    Our situations are different, but maybe not. I started losing my voice (no pain, just an irritating "sticky" feeling in the back of my throat) just passing 5 months post op! They put me on a dose pack and the voice came back, now it is slipping back again post steroids. An NS and ENT believe my hardware is moving, and thus causing issues with irritating my vocal cords.

    Since yours has been pretty much since your surgery, is there a chance that your hardware has moved sometime after your surgery, or maybe it wasn't seated correctly? I too can feel my hardware if I wiggle my larynx, so not sure if that would be an indicator or not. Is your surgeon aware of this? You seem a bit far out to still have a "sore" throat. Have you tried ice cream or ice chips to get some relief in the interim? Just some thoughts there Yvonne. Keep us posted!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I commented to a friend earlier today that my throat was probably this painful before but I probably just noticed since I recently stopped taking Vicoden daily. I think I'm going to call the office tomorrow and see. Honestly, it feels like a regular sore throat. I've already had that checked. However, if I talk too long the pain is more stabbing - as if there's a pencil point in there.

    I drink a lot of water and have tried the ice chips. This feels different than it did immediately after surgery - you know, the hurt that comes from having a tube down your throat for the procedure. Sometime the pain travels to my ears. Sigh.....I just started taking Tramadol instead of Vicoden but it doesn't work nearly as well. Actually, it only worked the first two days and now it doesn't work at all.

    Thanks for your input. I wonder if this hardware did shift - especially considering how often I hit my head in the weeks following the surgery. Previous xrays showed that everything was seated well. Hmmmmm.....this will all end soon, THANK GOD. My heart breaks for people that have to live with chronic pain. You never really understand back pain unless you've already dealt with it huh? That's one of the reasons I'm so greatful for this forum.

    Thanks for your response!!!! What did the dr do when your hardward shifted????? Whoa....

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  • I was just going to suggest maybe something got rearranged when the tailgate attacked you. But I remember that you were X-rayed at the time, right?

    I find that inflammation can continue to be a problem for a very long time, AND it doesn't take much to have the inflammation come back.

    I've not had cervical issues, so I cannot offer anything from personal experience, but I did have out of control inflammation ruin my last surgery, so I know how much it can effect healing, etc.

    I agree about the Tramadol -- doesn't do a thing for me either. I get as much relief from advil.

    Well, one more thing to research and check out!

    xx Gwennie
  • Hi Yvonne!!! :-)

    I guess for me I am lucky as I said in that I don't have any pain with mine, just a "sticky" on the back of my throat, and the "breathy, raspy" sound with some letters not coming out right or out at all.

    Since I have a crack in my fusion, and he wants to give it time to see if it heals on its own, that is most likely allowing a slight change or "shift" in my hardware. Nothing is on the table yet to do anything. I do think however if I were having pain with it this far out, it would be a different scenario. I wasn't given a "timetable" for how long, but my guess from what I've seen on this site alone, probably if this is continued past the 1 year mark, they might do something.

    Please keep us posted on how yours is going. Remember too, you hit the noggin a few times, might have moved something on one of them? From what my ENT told me, it doesn't take much. Might not even be able to tell on an x-ray or MRI if moved..especially if only like a mm or so. Take care - get the bubble wrap woman!!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • =)) you're both right...I hit my noggin way tooooooo many times. I had a CT scan done after the first incident with the tailgate of my Jeep. It showed a left curvature at the levels that were fused. At my follow up the dr said that was due to inflammation because of the bump. It is hard for me to say when the throat hurt like this because on Vicoden I didn't really feel any throat pain. I mean, my voice would give out after a while of chatting but it didn't hurt - it was just really weak sounding and raspy. Now that I'm not on Vicoden I feel the pain. I just finished a long phone call and my throat is on fire. Yesterday, after a about 4 hours shopping with my sister, I didn't even want to talk.

    The surgeon just gave me Neurontin and Cymbalta. He thinks it might be nerve pain because they had to move my voice box to access my spine. He said to give the meds a bit of time to be effectively in my system and I'll see him again in 6 weeks. This is the challenge I face now. Well, that and trying to get back to my own bed. LOL....my husband has been sleeping alone for all these months. He has started calling our room his Man Cave. I'm only allowed in once a week (probably to clean it) LOL.....

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Yup....I love my spiney friends. And ouch....my throat is really hurting. I think its Vicoden time. I had to take it yesterday too. Maybe I was too quick to want to end the Vicoden.

    things that make you go hmmmm.......

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  • Good afternoon Yvonne,

    "Smacking myself on the head - dahhh" Have you considered getting an appointment with an Ears, Nose and Throat Dr.(ENT)? The exam for the throat isn't that bad really. He will check your ears, nose and then have you do a bunch of 'eeessee and aaaahhhs". If he suspects that your vocal cords might be having issues, he will "scope" your throat. They numb you first (tastes horrible!!) He inserts this flexible skinny rod (sorry can't remember the name of it!!) up your nose, and then it bends down and goes down your throat to the vocal cord area. More eeeesese and aaaaahhhhhsss again! It has a little camera on it so he can fully look over your cords.

    I think he was "in my throat" for like 3 minutes. He was able to see that there was no permanent damage, but there was a LOT of swelling. I guess the cords themselves aren't sensitive to pain, but the surrounding tissue in your neck is? Mine could tell by examining me that my hardware was causing it. He was also able to tell that while very annoying, it isn't a "physical" problem in so far as damage right now. He confirmed his diagnosis by putting me on a dose pack - if the swelling goes back down, and voice is back, then off and it goes back to what it was, hardware. I had no allergy issues going on, nor a cold.

    You might want to give it a shot Yvonne. It can't hurt...no pun intended there! *HUG* Hope you feel better soon. :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • derekgreerdderekgreer TennesseePosts: 1
    It's been about 2 months since my surgery and I'm still having problems with my throat. It feels like someone has their hand around my throat squeezing. I'm guessing that I'm feeling the plate or that the plate is causing irritation in some way. Since it's been years since your post, what ever came of your issue?  Did it ever get better or did you have to have something done to resolve the issue?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello derekgreer !
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  • Good afternoon All,
    Well my background march of 2015 i had the following fusions C4-C5, C5-C6,C6-C7 and with that i had the tightned throat sensation as above, which was likely related to hardware, it went away after a few months- no lasting issues. Now I just had a artificial disk replacement done on C3 may 19th 2016. I am noticing dysphagia and dysphonia following this last procedure. I choke on food every meal have to drink lots of water, throat is still sore and get an itchy scratch that brings on severe coughing/gagging, ive also woken up thru each night because i feel difficulty breathing and can hear myself breathing hoarsly. My voice is also a different pitch So not sure if this is common with the c3 level. I dont know if this helps the original poster however i am worried and when i saw others had issues i thought i would share. Maybe get some other view points before my first post op checkup. Other than the above the surgery seemed to alleviate the pain, so far anyway. I am at the end of my rope with this though 2 surgeries in 14 months....not happy about the current syptoms and pray it goes away!! Good luck all thanks for listening.
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