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:-( I had an acf levels 4 through 7 on 4-3-07. I am recovering well, less some pain in my left arm, and the inability to swallow food. When I try, it gets stuck in the back of my throat. It does not seem to be getting any better or worse, I wonder if it is permanent? I spoke with the PA and was told my asophageal (spelling) nerve might have been damaged. What does that mean? I am losing weight fast and this is not good. any ideas, suggestions?
thanks, Leslie

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Swallowing problems (dysphagia) can be a common problem after anterior cervical fusion for various reasons, which can include trauma to the nerves located in that area, pharyngeal (throat) swelling, as well as reaction to the hardware placed. Speech Language Pathologists specialize in this area (dysphagia therapy). They will most likely teach you different swallowing exercises and may also want to observe your swallow via videoflouroscopy/modified barrium swallow study (live x-ray), to examine your symptoms more objectively. However, patients often recover from swallowing difficulties a few months after surgery. Hopefully, this was helpful.
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