Research Aims to Clarify Swallowing Problems After Elective Spine Surgery
By Admin | July 10, 2021
A new, multidisciplinary study led by speech–language pathologists and physicians in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Neurosurgery, and Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Health is aimed at elucidating the causes and mechanisms behind long-term dysphagia and dysphonia in patients who have anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) spine surgery.
Little is known today as to why some ACDF patients experience ongoing swallowing issues for months following surgery, while others’ problems are limited to temporary disruption associated with postsurgical edema. Generally, problems related to postsurgical edema alone are expected to resolve in the first few months after surgery; patients who are still experiencing dysphagia after that timeframe are referred to speech–language pathology for a swallow evaluation. Since dysphagia can lead to aspiration, causing complications such as pneumonia and hospitalization, the condition presents more than inconvenience to affected patients.
Distinguishing Expected Swelling from Atypical Swallowing
“ACDF patients almost universally experience some disruption to their swallowing, since they’ve had their neck opened and an invasive procedure in that space,” explains Sonja Molfenter, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at NYU Steinhardt. “What’s less understood is how to identify which patients experience changes to the neurovascular structures involved in swallowing, or why and how a subset of these patients go from being disrupted during postsurgical recovery to longstanding dysphagia.”
In collaboration with Stamatela Matina Balou, PhD, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Molfenter is investigating whether it is possible to predict which patients might...(More)
For more info please read, Research Aims to Clarify Swallowing Problems After Elective Spine Surgery, by NYU Langone Health