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Diagnosed with C5/6 disc degeneration with disc prolapse. Feeling pressure in throat. Could this be related to bulging discs?

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Hi
I've been diagnosed with 'C6/7 and to a lesser extent C5/6 disc degeneration with disc prolapse. Modic type 1 changes at C6/7, impingement of C7 nerve root right side, cervical radiculopathy right C7 on EMG.'

MRI shows greater disc bulges on left, although the majority of my symptoms are on the right.

I am due to have a 'C6/7 anterior discectomy and fusion +/- C5/6 fusion or disc replacement in the next few weeks.

I have a feeling of pressure on in my throat, around the XXXXXXX XXXXXXX area. Could this be related to the bulging discs? If so, will the surgery relieve this feeling?

Thank you
Posted Mon, 23 Jul 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 38 minutes later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. The feeling of pressure on in your throat, around the XXXXXXX XXXXXXX area is probably due to muscle spasm in the para-spinal muscles due to the changes in your cervical spine.

2. The adult larynx lies at the C3-C6 level. It is suspended from the floor of mouth , hyoid bone above and attached to the windpipe, food-pipe below. It moves up and down while swallowing and phonation.

3. Spasm of para-spinal muscles distort the spine over which the larynx slides during movement. At times the laryngeal axis is also twisted, adding to the strain.

4. It is interesting to note that the nerve supply of the muscles in and around the immediate vicinity of the larynx and throat is from the lower cranial nerves which arise from the brain much above the cervical spine and hence are usually not affected.

5. In this case it should be relieved after the surgery.

6. A few conditions should be ruled out:
a. Cervical Spine osteophytes
b. Cricopharyngeal spasm. Get a Barium Swallow Study done.
c. Acid reflux
d. Enlarged lymph nodes
e. Thyroiditis
f. Globus sensation and dryness of the throat.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Diagnosed with C5/6 disc degeneration with disc prolapse. Feeling pressure in throat. Could this be related to bulging discs? 52 minutes later
Thank you.

Would that also account for a tickly cough for almost 1yr with a little phlegm, and catching in the throat when I talk for a long period (I am a trainer so regularly speak for prolonged periods and have to keep sipping water throughout or I get a 'catch' in my throat and can't speak)
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 14 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. These would also be signs of chronic laryngitis.

2. The catch in the throat occurs due to spasm of these delicate muscles and adverse angulation of the larynx.

3. Try and get a videostroboscopy or a vediolaryngoscopy and share the video and images here. Any changes related to reflux, chronic laryngitis or angulation of the larynx should show up. The MRI images are worth reviewing since you have more symptoms on the side away from the findings. However, Imaging shows form, not function.

4. I would advise you not to rush into surgery before all these issues are explained.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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