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Dysphagia

, Volume 12 , Issue 1 , pp 2 –8 | Cite as

Dysphagia following Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery

  • Ruth E.  Martin
  • Mary Ann  Neary
  • Nicholas E.  Diamant

Abstract.

Although previous reports have identified dysphagia as a potential complication of anterior cervical spine surgery (ACSS), current understanding of the nature and etiologies of ACSS-related dysphagia remains limited. The present study was undertaken to describe the patterns of dysphagia that may occur following ACSS. Thirteen patients who exhibited new-onset dysphagia following ACSS were studied retrospectively by means of chart review and videofluoroscopic swallow study analysis. Results indicated that a variety of swallowing impairments occurred following ACSS. In 2 patients, prevertebral soft tissue swelling near the surgical site, deficient posterior pharyngeal wall movement, and impaired upper esophageal sphincter opening were the most salient videofluoroscopic findings. In another 5 patients, the pharyngeal phase of swallowing was absent or very weak, with resulting aspiration in 3 cases. In contrast, an additional 4 patients exhibited deficits primarily of the oral preparatory and oral stages of swallowing including deficient bolus formation and reduced tongue propulsive action. Finally, 2 patients exhibited impaired oral preparatory and oral phases, a weak pharyngeal swallow, as well as prevertebral swelling. Thus, a variety of swallowing deficits, due possibly to neurological and/or soft tissue injuries, may occur following ACSS.

Key words: Anterior cervical spine surgery — Cervical fusion — Cervical discectomy — Deglutition — Deglutition disorders. 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth E.  Martin
    • 1
  • Mary Ann  Neary
    • 1
  • Nicholas E.  Diamant
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Speech-Language Pathology, The Toronto Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, CanadaCA
  2. 2.Graduate Department of Speech Pathology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, CanadaCA

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