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Had swallowing study yesterday

sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
As some of you know I'm six months post op ACDF and still feel a lump in my throat most of the time. I finally called my NS and he ordered the swallowing study. I had it yesterday and the hardware didn't seem to be the problem thankfully. My esophagus is narrowed (stricture) right in front of the plate. Some food also gets stuck on a flap (don't remember what it was called). So the dr who did the test said I need to see my ENT to see about having it dilated again...had it done once eight years ago or so. So anyway, I guess I'll wait for the "official" report from my NS and go from there.

Just wanted to let you know I finally had the study and nothing drastic is going on thankfully. Hope you're all doing as great as you can be.



  • I hope that the dilation will help to relieve the lump in throat feeling you have. It is great that your hardware is all good.

    Could the feeling you have be scar tissue? I too have that feeling of a lump in my throat. About 6-8 months after my first ACDF, I had the whole swallow study stuff done, which showed everything was fine with my hardware. I then proceeded to have the endoscopy done to dilate my esophagus, but I still had the feeling of something stuck in my throat. Eventually I had a second neck surgery, and miraculously that lump feeling went away. The doc said it was scar tissue. Unfortunately it returned a few months after the 2nd surgery, so I just know it is something I have to live with. Yuck. I hope they are able to help you get rid of that feeling, but if not, you do eventually get used to it. Good luck!
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Glad that all of the hardware is in place and not the problem. I hope that the ENT can help you with the swallowing issue. I am 4 months post op and only have limited swallowing issues. Very thankful. I can't eat most bread products (bagels, sandwiches, burgers on a nice roll ...) I can live with that since I don;t need to chase everything I eat with water anymore.

    ************************************************ **
    12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
    BMP & bone fragment filled cages
    2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
    2/17/2011 starting PT
    wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
    DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
    3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
    4/9/2011 ROM much better, still achy and stiff in the am
    49 year old teacher
    dealt with pain for more than 5 years before finally having surgery.
    tried PT, cervical epidurals, selective nerve root blocks and acupuncture
    4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit
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  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Sounds like you know just what I'm talking about. I'm sorry you still have the problem. If you're like me, it's only at times that it really bothers you.

    I don't know if it's scar tissue but I'm sure it's possible. Do you ever have a problem with a dry cough at night? I've been starting coughing about an hour after going to sleep and most of the night! No cough during the day! I'm beginning to think it's related to the esophagus thing.

    Thanks for your reply Cindy. Hope you're doing well.
    Have a good day,
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm glad your swallowing issues are improving. I know a lot of people have trouble swallowing after acdf. Hopefully you'll get even better as time goes on. My problem is more just the feeling of something stuck than actually difficulty swallowing.

    I hope that you're doing okay since going back to work. How is your ROM these days? I only had one level done but mine is much better than prior to surgery thankfully.

    Thanks for your reply. I hope you have a great day.
  • Hey Debbie,

    Well sounds like that is good news and bad news. The good news being it is not your hardware and doesn't need to be removed, I don't think. But then they might not be able to do much with your hardware there. Now I went to a gastro for my issues although a ENT also looked. Maybe the ENT can use the scope deal and and get a better idea with a direct visual as to what is going on. Hopefully they can figure it out and get it taken care of rather easily. The bad thing about if it is scar tissue, removing it in that area, I was told it just will come back so hopefully that is not the case for you. Let us know how the appointment goes with the ENT.
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  • When I first went back to work in Feb it was difficult. Worked for a week then had a week off (Feb. school break). The month of March has some difficult days, but they definitely got better. April has been much better. Generally speaking I go to work, food shop make dinner and on the weekends do laundry and cleaning. Haven;t done much socializing because I am usually too tired. My ROM is better about 45* right and left. Left is tighter. I don't remember the * up and down but it has improved. The PT said that the degrees have stayed the same since 4 weeks, but it is more fluid and less painful. My strength is still limited on the left. I still get tingling or burning from shoulder to shoulder when I do too much or not paying attention to my posture. I also get nasty knots in my shoulders and shoulder blade area. I now have a Tens Unit at home which helps. I am a little more than 4 months at this point. They have said at 6 months there should be a big change and hopefully at 1 year I will be good. I hope so. One of my biggest concerns is getting my only son to college in August. 6 hour drive without any traffic. I will also lose my ability to have someone carry laundry, groceries and do the vacuuming. Oh well. Have a great weekend. :)
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