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Date of last update: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Surgery complication

 kat8198 - Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:16 pm

I just had surgery 3 months ago for a herniated cervical disc with bone fusion and appliances. They went through the front on my neck. Everything went well and I felt better after surgery except my throat hurt and it was hard to swallow. Doctor said that was expected because they had to move my esaphagus (spelling :? ) over to get to spine. I had to wear a soft collar brace for 4 weeks. About a week after no brace my 10 yr old mildly retarded child (long story for another time) was laying on my stomach on the couch and pushed himself up using his hand on the front of my neck. Oh my was this scary. Felt like I couldn't breath and a rope was tied around my neck. I called my Doctor about a week later becauses it hadn't got any better. The nurse said that it probably just caused some swelling and would get better. My X-rays of neck at 7 weeks after surgery were normal and I was sent back to work. I still felt like I had something tied around my neck and felt like I wasn't getting air. The tightness and trouble breathing seems to come and go. If I turn my head alot or move it up and down or bend over to pick something up it gets worse. The Doctor at work noticed that my oxygen level goes down when I talk and move around. I am sleeping fine and wake up fine. Before I get through my first cup of coffee it starts tightning and I feel like I'm not getting enough air. This is weird but I was out of coffee for 2 days and did much better. I have also been having muscle spasms in my neck when I yawn or stretch which doesn't surpise me I have always had muscle spasms when I stretch in my legs and back. I went to a Pulmanary Doctor last week and she said that she thought that the tightness and breathing trouble was from muscle spasms in my neck and she scheduled me for a scope tomorrow of my throat. The past 2 days have been really uncomfortable and I am scared. Also when I try to raise my voice it gets worse. Can muscle spasms really do all of this and am I ever going to feel better. I don' t understand why I have so much trouble with muscle spasms. The Doctor at work did a soft tissue X-ray and thought that he seen something blocking my air way but the pulmanary Doctor said that my X-ray looked fine.
Should I see another Doctor for muscle spasms? What kind of Doctor?
Sorry for such a long post!
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:38 pm

User avatar Dear Kat8198,

May be you have some kind of injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the nerve that is supplying the vocal cords, although this does not sound like the typical symptoms that one would get.

Another possibility is pressure on the airway by something from outside.

A regular x-ray is not the best thing to go with in this instance. i would recommend a ct scan of the neck.

Go ahaead and have the scope with the pulmonary doctor as this will show from inside how the vocal cords are doing, how the airways look and may be a deformity will show at one area and this could indicate external pressure. A lung function test sometimes shows pressure on airway, so if your pulmonologist asks you to have one, don't be surprised.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped and waiting for your update.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 kat8198 - Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:18 am

I had my scope done yesterday. OMG! I was awake for the first part of it. He went through my nose. I will never do that again! Anyway, everything was normal. The Doctor suggested that I should have a ct scan of my neck and I should go back to the Doctor that did my surgery. I called my surgeon and his nurse said that she had suggested a ct scan to the Dr. before but he said that he didn't think that it would show anything. She said that she would talk to him again about it. She also said that we could try a muscle relaxer (Diazepam 5mg) to see if it helps. I hope that it works. I haven't taken one yet. I also have a cold and my nose is SO sore and stopped up. I want to take some DayQuil. Would it be ok to take both the DayQuil and the Diazepam? There are no warnings on the Diazepam, will it make me tired? Thanks for your help!!

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