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Throat pressure

Had an ACDF and posterior lumbar lam/fusion with dura repair done 4 weeks ago yesterday. I previously had 2 lumbar surgeries for cauda equina 18mos ago. Anyways yesterday I decided to drive for the first time to visit my mom as I am no longer taking pain meds or muscle relaxers. When I got to mom's I started noticing a tightening and stiffness in my neck that progressed to feeling like a large lump in my throat like the feeling you get when you are trying not to cry. It then progressed to a great pressure that felt like someone was standing on my esophagus crushing from the outside inward. I took some Motrin and decided to go home and rest. Although there was no trouble breathing it was hard to swallow and I felt the need to stretch my head and neck upward to relieve pressure while driving. It started to worry me so much that I even contemplated stopping at the ER which as a seasoned ER nurse it is a huge fear to enter as a patient and not the nurse in control. I made it home and did something I probably shouldn't have but I felt desperate. I took an old steroid pill and stayed awake all night sitting up. The pressure has relieved some this morning but is not gone.  Did the driving or maybe even the jarring around from the ride bring these symptoms on? Is it too soon to drive? I see the Dr on Jan 31 after having cervical and lumbar X-rays. 


  • I had a posterior cervical fusion 3 months ago. My fusion was due to a trauma, so I am still in the Miami J. I have also felt the pressure in the throat, but not as severe as you felt. When it happens for me, it feels like a large air bubble passing trough, causing pressure. I have also noticed some trouble with swallowing. I did mention it to my PA, but he didn't seem to concerned about it. I noticed it feels better when I loosen the collar, also when I stay up on my muscle relaxers I don't feel it as often.

    Hope your f/u visit went well, and you are healing good. Did you mention the pressure to your doc at the visit? If so, what did he/she have to say about it?
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