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Old 01-24-2015, 08:43 PM   #4
ChuckStr
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Re: anyone had nerve palsy after neck surgery?

I haven't had surgery (yet) but I've read a lot about various nerve problems after surgery. It's pretty common to have continuing problems for quite some time after surgery. Even though the compression may be removed, the nerves need to heal. Less common, though very unfortunate, is new nerve issues stemming from the surgery itself. The good news is that permanent nerve damage is relatively uncommon. Studies suggest that most surgical trauma related nerve damage resolves within 6 months. That's why 6 months to 2+ years is sort of the "sweet spot" when evaluating surgeries as the transient nerve issues have typically gone away and things like adjacent segment disease and pseudoarthrosis (in fusions) haven't really become symptomatic yet.

One thing about anterior vs. posterior surgical methods is that a lot depends on where the pathology is. If you have bone-spurs in the posterior joints it is often possible to remove them with an anterior surgery like ACDF but there will likely be more trauma to nerve roots and surrounding structures in that case. Similarly with anterior bone-spurs etc; a posterior surgery will require more moving things about to get at the issues. One other issue is that in ACDF, about 29% of patients suffer temporary swallowing and/or speech difficulties due to retraction of the esophagus or trachea as well as the laryngeal nerves. Rarely, permanent function loss can occur. Usually, the main "unique" complaint against posterior surgeries is significant and potentially long-lasting neck pain due to the amount of muscles and other structures that need to be cut to access the spinal lamina.

I hope that you are in the majority that have their nerve issues go away over a relatively short time. Good Luck!

 
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