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Neck surgery fusion on C5/6 and C6/7

This anybody in this forum has had neck surgery; I will have it this month and I would like to know the post surgery How long you had it and and how you are feeling so far? i am a singer and I am afraid to lose my voice I heard that some people has lost their singing voice and some do not. please let me know your experience with your surgery.


  • I had 3 level ACDF on 4/16/12 I can tell you that if you have anterior, your throat can be sore and I had a raspy voice for maybe a week or so but that was about it. I am not a poster child for this surgery, i have suffered alot of complications but I also had 3 levels and it looks like you are having only 2. Everyone is different I went in with a compression on my spinal cord and severe arm pain and weakness. I woke up from surgery to no arm pain and gotten most of my stregnth back. The arm pain has returned but minimal to what I went in with. I have however suffered from shoulder and neck pain from day one, which is sad because I had no shoulder or neck pain pre-op. I can tell you that these are post op pains and the MD said it could take 6months to 1 year to cease if at all. I have noticed a slight improvement since PT and I think there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am managing my pain now and that was not a possibility before. I am begining to fuse and my spine is healing. This sight is a great resource before and after surgery, It has been a huge support and has helped me through many "should I be feeling this ?" days. So I wish you success in your surgery and keep us posted. I would not be concerned with your voice I found the throat to be a minor irritation, which gave me a excuse to eat ice cream!! Good luck! Kim
    Kimberly Martin
  • I'm not a singer (well...maybe just in the shower or my car...LOL)...so I can't speak on that in particular but I have had 3, two-level, cervical fusions over the last 11 years. And as mentioned, except for the first week or two, my voice and throat seemed to be fine.

    Just make sure that the Dr. (who I hope is a Board Certified Neurosurgeon or BC Orthopedic surgeon) is absolutely aware of your occupation as a singer. Because they move the vocal cords out of the way in the anterior approach to your spine, they can just be extra aware and extra gentle for you. Although I think they do this for everyone...but just reiterate this the DAY of the surgery to the surgeon since they see so many patients.

    The surgery itself takes a long time to fuse as mentioned...but the healing for your throat and cords shouldn't take more than a few weeks but ask them about this in recovery and how long you should abstain from singing to let them heal.

    Good luck!...If you do a search on here, as well as the sticky posts at the top of the board, it will give detailed information about the surgery and recovery process in general to help you.
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  • ninonnino Posts: 9
    edited 08/03/2012 - 1:51 PM
    Thank you Sunshinebry2000, we feel much better when we share information in this forum; like you said everybody is different i just met a lady that had the surgery with the same doctor that I will have mine, and its only two months since she had it and she said to me that she does not feel anything in her neck its like she did not have any surgery at all; the same day of the surgery she was eating next day she felt so well that she went to walk for 30 minutes and everyday after.
  • Nino,

    I had a 4 level which is much more extensive than a 2 level, and it seems like I've read a lot on this site that 2 is easier for recovery. I had some difficulty swallowing before the surgery, so my orthopedic surgeon also had a head & neck surgeon in the surgery to do the initial incision and move stuff out of the way so the ortho surgeon to have access to the spine. After the surgery I had a lot of trouble swallowing which got better over about a month. My voice was very raspy and I think it was about a month after the surgery I still had lost my upper register of my singing voice. I am an alto and I was having trouble singing above E or F above middle C. I just sing in a chorus but I was concerned so I went to see an ENT and I had a partially paralyzed vocal chord. After a couple more months it was mostly back and by a year later it was fine. I understand this type of issue is fairly rare. One other thing that I felt after the surgery is a strange feeling of there being some small pressure in my throat. Other people had said that's from the instrumentation in the neck. That feeling also decreased over time. It's still there but I don't think about it much.

    I hope this helps and isn't too scary. Remember, I had a 4 level.

    Take care,

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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