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Thread: Paralyzed vocal cord and Medialization Laryngoplasty

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    Paralyzed vocal cord and Medialization Laryngoplasty

    My left vocal cord was paralyzed when they fused the C4 - 6 bones post injury 18 years ago. It's apparently not an uncommon thing in cervical spinal cord injuries that require surgical stabilization. It causes a weak, breathy voice and a diminished cough. After 17 years, while going to a ENT surgeon for an unrelated issue (tracheal stenosis), I found out that there was a treatment for this problem, Medialization Laryngoplasty.

    Medialization Laryngoplasty involves putting an implant behind the paralyzed cord which pushes it to the center of the voice box, thus allowing the unparalyzed vocal cord to meet it. It has worked out well for me. I have a much stronger voice, a more effective cough, and can actually carry a tune for the 1st time in umpteen years. It was an easy outpatient surgery with no complications. The hardest part was getting my brain rewired to using the new set up.

    I thought I would post my experience in case anyone out there is in a similar situation. I sure wish I had found out about the procedure earlier.

    PS if you're in the Philadelphia area, I heartily recommend Mauritz Boon at Jefferson University Hospital

  2. #2
    This happened to me. Soon after release from the hospital we decided on a 'temporary' procedure using collagen, and then wait out the year to see if my vocal cords came back on their own (they didn't). I was fully expecting to go back and have a permanent solution, but so far everything seems to be working. At some point I might go back. I'm assuming that my voice would be stronger with a more permanent solution, but at the same time there's always a risk with surgery so my preference is to wait it out.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    It sounds like the collagen is hanging in there. I agree with your assessment. In my case, my voice was so weak I had difficulty being heard over normal background noise. It really put a dent in my social and professional life. This implant does not make my voice sound like it did pre-injury, but it's a hell of a sight better than my previous situation.

  4. #4
    Thanks for sharing, Wes. Damage to the vocal cords can occur either from damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve during anterior spinal stabilization surgery, or from traumatic intubation with an ET tube during resuscitation.

    Generally, if the voice has not significantly improved by 12 months post injury, a consultation with an ENT (ear, nose, throat) surgeon should be sought, and after testing, a vocal cord bulking procedure may be recommended.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  5. #5
    wes i have had it done and the first few weeks were horrible while everything healed! lots of icees and ice cream however once healed i have not had any issues since. i too went thru the collagen stuff to see if it would fix it however it was a temporary fix i think it lasted 2 months or so. for the actual surgery i was in hospital i think 2 nights. wasn't allowed to talk at all after for a week, which was the hardest. thank god for text messaging!
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  6. #6
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    I had a doctor from the Massachusetts Eye and ear infirmary check out my raspy voice and he wanted to do some injections into my vocal chords directly over my Adams apple. I believe he said the material was some calcium based substance. I saw a couple of videos on YouTube and it just gave me the creeps so I never had the procedure done.

    https://www.masseyeandear.org/find-a...nco-jr-ramon-a

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    I had a doctor from the Massachusetts Eye and ear infirmary check out my raspy voice and he wanted to do some injections into my vocal chords directly over my Adams apple. I believe he said the material was some calcium based substance. I saw a couple of videos on YouTube and it just gave me the creeps so I never had the procedure done.

    https://www.masseyeandear.org/find-a...nco-jr-ramon-a

    you should have it done! not too bad of a surgery and it really does help with your voice.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  8. #8
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiUlZV6YDYM

    I guess I'm too much of a pussy, but this procedure makes me gag!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by smokey View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiUlZV6YDYM

    I guess I'm too much of a pussy, but this procedure makes me gag!
    It's really not all that bad. You do need to sort of 'tune out' while they are examining your vocal cords and/or conducting the procedure. But it's relatively fast.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyFan View Post
    It's really not all that bad. You do need to sort of 'tune out' while they are examining your vocal cords and/or conducting the procedure. But it's relatively fast.
    as far as procedure to implant the stuff i was sedated.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

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