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in 2003, i had acf on c5 and c6. i was satisfied. i still had symptoms however, i learned to live with them.

in may 2006, i began having neck pains, burning, etc. i tried not to have the surgery, but it the pain and symptoms were unbearable. i could not even work on the computer for 5 minutes. at times i could not even turn my neck.

i had surgery last thrusday. the old plate from 2003 was removed, and c6 and c7 were fused and a new plate was put in.

i dont remember the first surgery being so horrible post op. i have more pain now than before the surgery.

my throat is awful and i cant eat solid foods. my major complaint is this choking feeling all the time.

also tonight, i touched my incision, and there is a lump. where this lump is located on my incision, is the where the pain in coming from and going down my legs, shoulders and arms.

has anyone had this lump in the incision? WHAT IS IT?

also, i was told not to drink water but carbonated drinks. why?

has anyone every had this choking/trouble breathing after the surgery?

ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED. THANKS :-( KIM

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I am 6 weeks out from my second fusion. The first one was in January 2002 and was at C4-5, no plate. The second one was 6 weeks ago, at C5-6, C6-7, with a titanium plate. The second surgery was worse for me but I chalk that up to my being 5 years older (31 now, 26 then) and the surgery being more extensive.

It does get better. Patience is NOT a virtue of mine but I'll admit that I feel better every week. Pain and boredom are terrible alone and an even worse combination. I recommed listening to audio books if it hurts to raise your head enough to look at a tv or hold a book.

As to the lump, at my 4 week follow-up visit, my doctor said the lump at one side of my incision is the knot where he tied off the stitches/sutures below the skin. Apparently there are several layers of stitches under the skin, and they will all dissolve over time. When they dissolve, the lump will go away.

I'm just glad he gave me the go ahead to use mederma. I used it after my 2002 surgery and it made the scar totally disappear.
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I have had quite a bit of problems with choking also. I had cervical fusion of C5-C6 and feel great, but choke on food, saliva and drinks almost EVERY DAY! My surgery was in Sept of 2005 and I really noticed the choking problems after my recovery. I am trying to just be very careful at each meal. A friend of mine also had the same surgery and also has problems with choking. Maybe scar tissue is obstructing things? For me, it is more of an annoyance than a health concern - at least at this point. If it becomes a greater issue, I will certainly contact my surgeon about the problem. I suggest you do the same. Good luck in your recovery! :-)
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I was reading the postings regarding problems swallowing and choking. I had acdf c5-c6 on 12/14/06. Immediately after surgery my pains were gone!!! I had pain in both arms and shoulders for over 2 a half years and I was on every muscle relaxer, pain killer and even took anti-depressants to help sleep at night. After the surgery I instantly had difficulty swallowing liquids....they told me that this would go away after the first week or two. At the first followup visit I told the PA that I still had this problem with drinking and my voice was hoarse as well. She set up an appointment with an ENT and went to see him the next day. He informed me that I had a paralyzed right vocal chord, resulting from surgery. It's been 3 months and I've been going to voice therapy but have not returned to work due to the sound of my voice. The choking problem is minimal now, although sometimes I will still choke on liquids, even my syliva. If you have this problem, don't drink from a straw as it will increase the chances of it happening more.....stay away from anything that requires you to chew and swallow a liquid (cold cereal, fruit cocktail) but most importantly, go to an ENT and let him check you out to make sure nothing like this is happening....the pain in my arms, wrists, shoulders, and neck are gone but over the past week and a half I've been having numbness and tingling in my legs.....more in my right than the left and next week when I go for my recheck I'm going to ask why....anyone out there ever get these symptoms.....I do have lumbar problems, which scares me for asking but can an acdf at cervical steer up problems with the lumbar area??
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Hi Everyone,

I had a CDF two levels C5 and C6 and the recovery has been slow but to the better. My major compaint is the swallowing, I always feel like there is a lump in my throat that is making it difficult to swallow. I feel it every day and it never goes away. It has been a year after the surgery now and I am getting ready to go to a speach therapist. I have also noticed the lump mentioned in one of the postings and it starts quite large then it starts to get smaller with time.
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Hi there. Yes, I had a cervical fusion a year ago and I am still having choking sensations and it feels constricted when I breathe. It's not constant, but for example, I've had it most of the day and night. My doctor said in the beginning that this happens sometimes and it could last up to three months. Well, it's a year now. Sometimes I gag. I can't sing right now and I am a singer. I went to a throat doctor and he said that my vocal cords were inflamed, but it appears to be reflux. However, I never-never had a problem like this until my fusion. Let me know if anything changes. Good luck!
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Had my anterior cervical discection with a fusion and titanium plate on May 1, 2007, so I am only 6 days out. Post surgery took a drink in my hospital room and thought I was going to drown. Not the surgeon or th ent that opened me up mentioned the choking or swallowing problems. I do not even want to take my pain meds because they are big and I know I will feel like choking if I do. The first couple of days I took them with applesause. Now, I am still eating cold cereal with milk, jello, applesauce, frozen fruit pops and chicken with rice soup with crackers smashed up in it. he gave me thickener at the hospital to use, but drinking is not quite the same when you have to make it thick and goey to drink it. Other then that, really no incision pain, index finger pain and tingling and burning still there. Head pain behind ears there that was not there before,maybe from the way they have to lay you on the table??Dr said it could last 6 months and a swallow test 9 months from now would still be abnormal. Please tell me that it usually goes away a lot faster, as i love my water bottle....Thanks Anette
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Two weeks post c5/6 old fusion removal with new cage fusion and c6/7 cage fusion with spurs removed at both levels. Both levels secured with a titanium plate. Swallowing beyond sucks. Sort of remember swallowing issues from the 2 previous fusions, but this time around bites, big time. Good to know there are others out there with the same problem. Popsicles seem to be the best thing. Thanks to everyone for posting your swallowing issues, it is some comfort to know it's not uncommon.
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11 days post op and I can now drink liquids in small sips and for me the straw works well but still small sips or you will gag. Still having numbness and tingling/pain in index finger after the c6/c7 fusion, not sure when that will go away. For the next person, so you will be a little bit prepared for it following surgery as I was not and bought 80 of those thickening packets. If you need them see if the hospital will give you 15-20 and save yourself some money.
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i had my surgory last thursday , my doctor i swear hates me he made my incesion all the way across my neck this time. my throat hurts really bad i have lumps in and around my lips . Is it normal that the Doctor gave me a persription for ultram for my pain. i have very bad pain in the bone graft site. i feel like im being punished for the failed fusion. :'(
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My mother had an Anterior Cervical Discectomy about 5 months ago, mid January. She is still suffering from severe pain, has seen voice specialists but still her voice is very hoarse. swallowing pain, nerve spasms and serious headaches. I feel all out of options, any suggestions?
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hi, welcome to my world. C-3 and 4 fused 2000. First fusion plate had to be removed from the front of my neck due to rubbing on my esophagus and bone-graph from right side. Second opperation (5 months later), after removal of first plate second fusion done from back of neck to C-3 & 4. With added bone graph from left side of hip. To date docter mentioned about souveiners.. so true. I am a baromater forcasting weather 72 hourse before it comes, tingling sensations stiffness of neck and needles running down from head to toe. The more severe, the worse the weather is, especially thunder storms(have fun XD ) having troubles swallowing today, cat scans, x-rays, finding NOTHING wrong. If you have answers, or if anyone has solutions, please reply.
YOURS TRULEY,
barometer 8) .. pops[/url]
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I am 12 days post op from my 2nd cervical fusion. I have DDD and my lower back and between shoulder blades are affected too. I recently had a myelogram for the surgery and it screwed up my middle back. I am having problems swallowing and I remember it 20 years ago on the first fusion. I know it's scary but you will get better day by day. The problem is NOT doing anything ever again that causes pain to my spine because it's not worth it.
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Had a disc fusion c6-c7 June 2006. After the surgery had problems of choking and gagging with arm and neck movement, smell and food/drink. Also having balancing problems, leg pains especially at night, and tremors on my right arm. After another x-ray and MRI noticed the plate and lower screw came loose. Seen my xray before the surgeon even told me and knew it wasn't normal. Assumed this was the problem and surgeon suggesting to remove it. During my pre-op of surgery #2, Dr notice as I bent my neck and was choking/gagging that my heart rate shots up too. Had my surgery July 2007 to remove the plate and screw which I asked for. Not sure how it came loose because there is 2 locking screws in the plate that lock the vertebra screws. Still having all this problems and never had these problems before my surgery. Would a ENT or swollowing test show anything? Do other have problems with stability, balance, and leg pains. Thanks and BETTER health to all.
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greetings to all broke down neck people. im grateful after reading this board i can swallow. im on my second neck fusion first was C 5 and 6 now i just had the ruptured C7 fused. they took the plate from the first surgery and used it on this one. i am 12 days post surgery. first surgery was by a neurosurgeon, second an orthopaedic.

i am writing to WARN PEOPLE about what not to do. after my first neck fusion in 2004 i recovered nicely and was told i could do whatever i wanted to physically. i was back to almost 100% normal; i still would have periods of where my neck was killing me and i would deal with it by taking pain killers and/or drinking tequila. i walked alot and lifted light weights.

but then i started taking pilates. DO NOT DO THIS WITH A FUSED NECK. pilates was so stressful on my neck and like a dumbass i kept on with it. its iss so bad for your neck...do the research youll see. i also took yoga and im sure all that downward facing dog was a bad idea.
I actually felt my neck rupture and for the 8 days until i got the surgery i thought i would drive off a cliff...i could not stand to be in any position

i still have some pain and numbness but like i said i want to warn you guys...once you have a neck fused you gotta THINK about what you are doing. baby that sukka. dont end up like me doing something dumb and undoing your fusion. don't push anything hard, don't pull up, dont hang upside down, dont dance like a maniac. be smart! cause i have to tell you this recovery doesnt feel as fast or easy as the first one.

good luck and one last thing...i tried everything i could before surgery. but the fact is when something mechanical breaks down somebodys gotta get in there and clean it up. shots, PT and voodoo will not git r done.

dont go through life in pain. and dont be afraid.
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