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Osteophytes
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Osteophytes

A recent visit to the ER showed I have "prominent bulky anterior osteophytes on two of the cervical vertebrae at the level of the larynx (c3-4) Examination of the larynx did reveal prominence posterior in the hypopharynx at the level of supraglottis. There was no pooling of secretions in the hypopharynx." My E.N.T. said I may be a candidate for removal of these osteophytes. My questions are: How serious is this condition to my health? Is this a routine operation? What kind of recovery time am I looking at after surgery? What can I do in the meantime? I do not have trouble swallowing solid food as long as I chew it throughly but I have trouble initiating a swallow. Thank you for your time... I tried to be as brief as possible.

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Dear Bryon:

It sounds like the finding was accidental and you are not having any problems?  If you are not having symptoms, I think I would just watch.  Osteophytes are formed from many different things but usually they are from arthritis, movements of the vertebrae due to instability, and some are unknown.  Anytime you have an operation, the healing process may induce the same process again.  First, have a good neurosurgeon and neurologist go over you and see if there is an etiology, such as a spondy or arthritis.  Then solve the initiator of the problem.  But, surgery has it's risks.  Get a second opinion also concerning the need for surgery.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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Dear Doctor,
  A year ago I was also diagnosed with an osteophyte at C5-6 with cervical spondylosis and mild right C5-6 and C6-7 neural foraminal stenosis.  The MRI also mentioned desiccation of the C5-6 disk.  Recently I have been having numbness in my right hand, mostly the thumb and I have a tightness in my right neck that feels like something is pulling on my shoulder.  It causes pain up to my right ear and my teeth in my lower jaw.  Also it feels like I have a "tightness" on the right side of my throat and there is pain/tencerness in my neck.  The numbness in my hand gets worse when I raise my arm and there is a popping in my shouder/right neck area when I do this.  The pain in my teeth also increases when I turn my head certain directions.  Do you think this could be from the osteophyte or maybe just overworked muscles in the neck and shoulder?  If it is the osteophyte could it have gotten worse in just a year?
When I seen my doctor a year ago he also said I had Lhermitte's phenomenon.  Can you tell me what this is?
Thank you for your help.
Marji
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