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  • Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

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    Old 09-03-2005, 03:17 AM   #1
    Mary.T
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    Question Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Hello eveyone,
    Can anyone help?. I am 8 weeks post-op today. Artificial disc (PCM) done at levels C5/6 and C6/7. I am still feeling as though there is something in my throat. Somedays it's fine and hardly noticeable, and others my mouth feels real dry and it feels as though I cant swallow. I am eating ok, and food going down without a problem, I tend to drink plenty when eating anyway. I saw my neurosurgeon on August 16th, which was 5 weeks post-op, and he was quite happy that there was no problem, and that things would calm down with time. I am due to return to work on Sep 19th and would really like this sorted before going back, when it happens it's quite scary. Has anyone else experienced this. My procedure is part of a trial here in the UK, the discs are manufactured by Cervitech Ltd. The problem seems to be directly behind the scar, I was wondering could it be where scar tissue is healing and if so how long is this likely to take. Sorry for being so long winded, any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Mary

     
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    Old 09-04-2005, 08:50 AM   #2
    Cindee 2
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Well I am almost 8 wks post ACDF5-7. I have the exact swallowing problem as you. Sometimes I don't notice anything and other times I find it feels very thick there and I am swallowing very hard. I think it is just normal healing.

    Cindee

     
    Old 09-05-2005, 06:00 AM   #3
    Mary.T
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    Unhappy Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Cindee,
    Thanks so much for your reply, have you mentioned this to your doc, and what do they say. Today this feels weird again, it's almost like someone has got their finger pressed on my throat, and I feel like I dont want to eat because it may not go down, but of course it does, apart from that do you work? and are you back at work yet. I am due back on September 19th, and really hope this problem has settled down by then, this is giving me more trouble than the pains and aches in my neck/shoulder. I knew to expect problems with the swallowing, but I didn't think it would go on this long !!!!!!!
    Please keep in touch - Regards, Mary

     
    Old 09-05-2005, 11:17 AM   #4
    Cindee 2
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    I haven't mentioned it to my doctor either and I'm not currently working so I don't have to worry about that one. I've been reading on another board and I think this is a common problem and will just take time to heal from what I've read. It does feel like I'm being choked sometimes but passes and I don't have a problem eatting so I really don't worry about it. Have you noticed when you are more active it is more noticeable?

    Cindee

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 12:20 PM   #5
    chitowngl
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    I had cervical fusion done is Jan. The swallowing problems vary from person to person. I had problems for about 6 weeks. I ate a fairly soft diet and drank lots of liquids. It does eventually improve--hang in there.
    Carrie

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 12:20 PM   #6
    chitowngl
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    I had cervical fusion done is Jan. The swallowing problems vary from person to person. I had problems for about 6 weeks. I ate a fairly soft diet and drank lots of liquids. It does eventually improve--hang in there.
    Carrie

     
    Old 09-12-2005, 09:11 PM   #7
    notpain
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    can you share a little about your proceedure and what your doctor has said you can expect? The PCM is a very interesting alternative to fusion. I have seen Dr. John Regan's site and there is a video of the placement of the discs. They claim you can be moving around after 2 to 3 weeks. I do not know if that is the case with 3 levels. What has been your experience as far as neck motion is concerned?

    Did your Dr. tell you the proceedure is easier/harder than fusion in terms of recovery time?

    Please advise at your convenience. I spoke with my physiatrist today and he believes artificial discs are the furture, but it will still take some time. I read there have been about 1,000 PCM placements since 2002. Hopefully I'll find some info online about placements oversees.

    Thank You

     
    Old 09-15-2005, 10:29 AM   #8
    speli
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    My surgeon here in Phila******a told me that cervical artificial discs would not be approved officially for another year or so at least, and then only on one-level surgeries.
    Since he is the teaching professor at Jefferson, I believe he is pretty up to speed.
    I had asked about that possibility, but was told it wasn't possible right now.

     
    Old 10-14-2005, 04:16 PM   #9
    Mary.T
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Hello, I am still having problems 13 weeks after ADR sugery on C5/6 and C6/7, and am now going next Tuesday 18th for a video fluoroscopy to see what is going on. I feel like someone is holding their thumb down on the back of my throat, and swallowing is a big chore, Has anyone else on here had this problem this far in after surgery. I would love to find someone who has. I am just praying that the PCM disc at C6/7 hasn't moved, I couldn't bear the thought of having to be opened up again. Any information anyone could give would be most helpful. Thanks, and regards to everyone.
    Mary.

     
    Old 10-22-2005, 10:04 AM   #10
    Cindee 2
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Have you asked you Dr. about the throat problems yet? When I went in for my 12week check up my Dr. wasn't to concerned. He also mentioned it could be scar tissue. Mine really comes and goes. I have no problem swallowing but I do feel like someone is pressing on my throat also at times. I wonder if it isn't muscular? It seems to be more noticable when my neck muscles seem agravated or I've over done things a bit. It always seems to go away though.

    Cindee

     
    Old 10-22-2005, 03:28 PM   #11
    Mary.T
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Hi Cindee
    I had the fluoroscopy done on Tuesday, funnily enough by an American Acute speech therapist - an amazing test. My husband sat behind the screen with her, whilst I had to eat an awful egg mayo sandwich laced with barium, followed by a biscuit coated in barium, and the sip from a beaker with water and barium, it immediately showed that when I swallowed the sandwich it was not going straight into the oseophagus, or rather all of it wasn't, litttle pieces were getting caught in little "pouches" that we have at the back of the throat, and also the oesophagus had pieces of food backed up in it, and apparently this shouldn't happen the oesophagus should always be clear, and food should pass from the mouth to the stomach in under 20 seconds, so obviously this should not be happening. She took me to her office and went through the whole tape with me. She has now showed it to two other doctors who adbise that a full barium swallow test should be done, and that I should also see an ENT doctor.
    Sorry this is so long winded but I dont want to miss anything - Whatever the name of the liitle flap at the top of the oesophagus is called it is not operating correctly and pushing the food down. So, she has asked me for now to drink plenty of fluid when eating and bear down when swallowing, like when giving birth!!!!!!, but I am tending to avoid big food like a nice Sunday roast. I just hope it will not take too long now to get these other two tests done, because over here you have to wait an age to see a consultant, and I am back with my neurosurgeon in 3 weeks to have more x-rays of the disc positioning. The feeling is awful isn't it. I've also had a bad sinus infection which hasn't helped, because i've had all that going down my throat as well - yuk. I sometimes feel like i've been superglued down there, and then feel as though I cant breathe, and get panicky. I dont know you go in for one procedure, and are prepared for a long haul out the other side, but not another problem as well !!!. How long in a day do you feel bothered by these symptoms? - please keep me informed of how you are going.
    Kind regards, Mary

     
    Old 10-24-2005, 07:43 AM   #12
    Cindee 2
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Thanks for posting. I still feel like I'm swallowing really hard but my throat doesn't bother me all the time, just occassionally but it is still an every day occurance. Let us know what happens with your visit to the ENT. Hopefully it isn't something than need to be fixed and will heal with some time.

    Otherwise how are you feeling? I think I'm doing pretty good. My ROM is pretty good and the muscular stuff seems to be settling down through my shoulders. My right shoulder blade seems to get tight and stick sometimes. I'll roll it around and loosen it up a bit and that seems to help.

    Cindee

     
    Old 10-24-2005, 07:00 PM   #13
    wdmoor
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    I'm 13 months post-op ACDF double fusion and I still have trouble swallowing pills. It feels like I have something stuck in my throat(or the titanium plate next to my throat).

    I used to swallow a handful of vitamins every morning...but I quit. Now just choking down an aspirin is a chore.

    I carry water with me most of the time, and always keep water in the car.

    It's not awful...just something I'm mindful of.

     
    Old 12-07-2005, 05:10 PM   #14
    necknose
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    Re: How have the PCM disks worked out?

    Hi Mary:

    How have the PCM disks worked out?

    Have you resolved your swallowing problems?

    Take care.

     
    Old 12-07-2005, 07:03 PM   #15
    nero
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    Re: Swallowing Problems 8 Weeks Post-op

    Hi there,
    You are not alone. I had acdf nov 03 and had c5 6 done with plate and own bone in Canada. My doc had only other friend who was doing artificial disc and said if my c6 7 goes that would be available by then.

    Swallowing has been a chore. Some people seemed surprised as theirs dissipated. I think scar tissue and the tightness around the skin of the neck is an issue. You can massage that skin lightly and you may notice you burp.

    I also had the experience just recently of my hubby developing symptoms like mine. He has not had surgery or neck issues and turned out trouble swallowing and dry throat was due to hiatus hernia. He had gallbladder out in the 90s so if you have a history.....of this as well....it could be that.

    I feel for you. I still have to watch what I eat and carry water. My surgery definitely gave me 50 % pain relief but my swallowing is a daily issue. Still better than the chronic pain...less of a symptom but still a symptom to live with. Try making protein fruit shakes.

    After two years many people look at you and think you should be better...better is a very tricky word...just hang in there and try researching. At least you have them investigating it...but see if it could relate to past history with stomach/gall bladder. Its all related in the end or it could be the circumstance I have.. an unfortunate result of surgery...

    My regards.

    nearly new...Nero

     
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