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What are the dangers of neck surgery?

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Dangers of neck surgery, also known as cervical decompression and fusion surgery, include damage to the vertebral or carotid artery, hemorrhage, damage to the spinal cord, damage to the esophagus and wound infection, notes Spine-health. Such complications and risks are uncommon.

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Neck surgery can also result in hoarseness due to damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, according to Spine-health. Swallowing disturbance can occur if the superior laryngeal nerve is harmed during the surgery. The graft and plate can suffer mechanical complications that may result in screw pullout, graft migration and plate breakage. A common problem for individuals who undergo the surgery is difficulty swallowing for two to five days because of the esophagus retracting during the procedure.

An individual who suffers from a cervical disc herniation can have it treated with surgery through the front of the neck, notes Spine-health. Surgery eases nerve root or spinal cord pressure and treats any corresponding weakness, discomfort, tingling and numbness. To properly balance the cervical segment, a surgeon usually performs fusion surgery simultaneously with the discectomy.

Cervical decompression and fusion surgery also treat cervical degenerative disc disease, says Spine-health. There are instances where multiple levels of the cervical spine may require the procedure.

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