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Dysphagia - Anyone experience this after ACDF?

Hello, Still trying to figure out what's going on after my ACDF C3-C4 surgery on Nov. 25th. Still have tongue swelling and trouble swallowing at times. It does seem to have gotten a bit better, but still my voice is not back to normal and the incision area is still numb and very hard - I guess still healing 8 weeks out. Anyone experience Dysphagia after ACDF surgery? If so, I would appreciate learning of your experiences. How bad was it and when did it go away? There is such a thing as chronic Dysphagia, which I hope I don't have. Thanks for any input.

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Comments

  • I had severe dysphagia after my C3/C4 ACDF in 2014.  I hope you reported it to the surgeon that performed the ACDF.

  • Lefty4562LLefty4562 Huntington, WVPosts: 27

    Stiffneck7, how long did it last and what did you do to get rid of it? I see my  surgeon today as a matter of fact and will be discussing it with him. Thanks for posting.

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  • I had a nasty case swelled throat where I could not able swallow anything five days post-op, but steroids IV calmed the swelling down where I could where I could again start swallowing again within a day. 

    My severe dysphagia was triggered by the growth of an osteophyte on the front bottom of C4 after my C3/C4 ACDF.  My severe dysphagia hit me about eight months post-op.  I was hospitalized at least two days and put through multiple swallowing tests.  An ENT doctor was consulted and she demanded that the neurosurgeon go back into my neck and remove the osteophyte.  During this doctor spat, again with steroids, training on techniques how to swallow with dysphagia and pureed food, I was able to again get food down my throat. 

    The osteophyte was finally removed three years later when I had a fusion at C4/C5. 

    I hope your case is not as severe as mine, but it sounds like you are doing the appropriate thing, having an office consult with your surgeon.  Hopefully the cause can be found or at least the symptoms managed.  Having two ACDFs mid-neck and on ACDF lower neck, it takes time for the soft tissue that was irritated during surgery to calm down.  Sometimes there is additional causes beyond irritated/swelled soft tissue.

  • Lefty4562LLefty4562 Huntington, WVPosts: 27

    Stiffneck7, thank you very much for your reply. Glad to learn that you are better and over the issues. My case is not that severe, I can drink and eat most foods but it takes smaller bites and a drink after each bite. Spoke with the surgeon today, he said my issue should resolve itself in time and due to the location of the second surgery, presented the chance for Dysphagia to occur. He said come back in late February if it hasn't gotten much better. Thanks again for your input. My best to you for good health in the future.

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