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ENT in cervical fusion

dbullwinkelddbullwinkel Posts: 224
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a ACDF C5-C6 july 08. In november 10 i re-injured again resulting in buldging discs above and below the fusion. In august the numbness and pain in my arm became unbearable with major increase in neck pain. mri showed c6-c7 was herniated. emg showed decreased conduction in nerve 7...going through all treatments..pT, three epidurals, just started acupuncture. all nerve pain and arm numbness is GONE..bad neck pain remains (burning, pinching, headaches) etc. surgeon in leaning towards surgery. i am needles to say, very upset and not happy. Anyway, today they called with a date...i can cancel if third epidural or acupuncture help..MY QUESTION: he wants me to see an ENT soon..office girl spoke to me. she said he will be in the surgery??? I understand about chances of breathing, swallowing difficulties. But does anyone know why an ENT would be in the surgery? as far as i know, last surgery was my ortho surgeon and neurosurgeon..thanks.


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Interesting, haven't heard of that but perhaps the surgeon and ENT work together to minimize those possible effects. Call the spine surgeon's nurse or medical assistant and ask why the ENT is used.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • About 5 months post op, I started having major problems with my cords - initially it was thought that I developed a paralyzed cord. Instead they found I have now a cracked C6 vertebra (between my fusions) and with the movement, my cords are highly swollen and are staying that way due to the movement. If they decide in the next few months for a revision, my ENT will be in the OR for the procedure.

    Mine is a "known issue" for my cords, hence the ENT. He (nor any ENT) was in there for my prior surgeries. If they revise on me, from the front, fuse (and revision - adding a level) C5/6/7/8(T1) and from the back to shore it all up C5/6/7/T1/T2. My cords will be at very high risk for that procedure.

    I would ask like SpineAZ mentioned, as unless there are prior problems, or a large multi level procedure, it isn't the norm, why he will be there for yours. Please let us know what they say. Take care.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • I had a vascular injury to the the vestibulocochlear nerve during posterior cervical surgery. It caused hearing loss, nystagmus and horrible vertigo. Although this nerve doesn't exit the spine, it is a cranial nerve, the surgery caused a stroke, that caused damage to the nerve. It wasn't discovered until several days after the surgery when I wound up unable to walk. Up until that point, I simply thought I was getting an ear infection.

    I would surmise that depending upon the surgical approach, the surgeon's past experiences and your condition, he is just being cautious.

    "stuff" can and does happen during surgery.

  • On both my cervical fusions there was an ENT there. The ENT surgeon did the initial incision and cleared the area back to the cervical spine. Then after my spine surgeon was done, the ENT surgeon closed the area. As a musician and someone with thyroid disease I was grateful for the ENT. They do a better job and know the area better then the neuro and ortho do.
  • Thank you all for your information. I have an appt. November 24th and will be going with a list of questions! I do not want to have this surgery if I can manage not to!
    @ mcdermoju: thanks for the explanation!
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  • Thank you all for your information. I have an appt. November 24th and will be going with a list of questions! I do not want to have this surgery if I can manage not to!
    @ mcdermoju: thanks for the explanation!
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