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Neck inflammation, had neck surgery for tightness in neck and voice changes. What can I do?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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I have had this problem for several years: I have had 3 neck surgeries due to DDD, OA fusion at C5 &6. Prior to surgeries i had tightness in my throat/neck and changes in my voice when my neck is bad. I have had an ENT workup as the pain specialists was concerned and stated that the voice changes could not be caused by my neck. Nothing was wrong after the work up and I continue to have this problem with neck inflammation periods. What can I do?
Posted Tue, 10 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later


Thanks for the query

The causes of tightness in the neck in your age group are:

1. Acid reflux disease causing laryngo-pharyngeal reflux.

3. Sinusitis and allergic conditions of the throat.

2. Rarely, the osteophytes or the bony spurs that form when spinal ligaments calcify in the cervical region causes neck pain, swallowing problems and tightness in the neck.

If your spinal surgeon has not found any osteophytes during the radiological examination of the spine, then the most likely cause could be either the acid reflux disease or the allergic conditions of the nose and throat.

Acid when it regurgitates into the throat due to the laxity of the esophageal valves, it burns the mucosa of the throat. Following this, there is inflammation of the mucosa causing tightness in the neck. If this condition repeats, then there can be recurrent throat pain, hoarseness or weakening of the voice after a small conversation, dry cough, etc.

Finally, recurrent attacks of allergy or sinusitis can cause the above symptoms. This is secondary to trickling of the post nasal discharge into the throat.

My suggestion to you is to drink plenty of warm water; avoid coffee/alcohol/chilled or hot beverages/smoking (if any). Take frequent small meals and avoid lying down immediately after taking the food.

Hope this answers your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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