Please help me decide if I should a second surgery!
I had a two level fusion (one with artificial disk) at 5-6 and 6-7 in Dec 2011. Had xrays done about 6 mo post op......neurosurgeon saw that one of the wires from the screw was broken. Said it shouldn't be a problem. Since then I started to have some swallowing issues come up.....had a cold and the post nasal drip was hell on my swallowing because I felt like I couldn't get the post nasal drip to go down...kept swallowing over and over. Kept me up at night doing so. Anyway, since Aug. I have noticed that small pieces of food get caught in my throat.......pieces of pasta...potato chips etc....when I swallow. Swallowing pills is difficult as well. Repeated the x rays and surgeon said I was not fused all the way at the artificial disk site and that I have pseudo arthrosis.
The newest symptom I have is the return of the right arm weakness and fatigue when used too much. Such as reading a book to my class at school. Holding my arm up that long makes it tired. I also have occasional radiating pain in my shoulders...sometimes down my upper middle back is also fairly new.
I saw the NS today and he redid xrays. Nothing has changed since the last xray. He told me I could do nothing, or, redo the surgery and do a traditional ACDF and put a plate on it. And he would redo it anteriorly, he said, instead of posterior. Said it was up to me and the pain level I'm willing to tolerate.
I don't know if I should have it redone or wait and see....based on my symptoms....what would you suggest? Should I request a posterior approach to make sure the job is done for good in spite of the longer recovery? Or stay with the anterior approach? Or should I not do this at all??? Please help!