A 68-year-old man underwent C5 anterior corpectomy with fusion (C4-C6) with expandable cage, autograft, and anterior instrumentation and posterior spinal decompression and fusion (C4-7) for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. He presented 5 months later with odynophagia and dysphagia, at which time laryngoscopic examination showed a prominent posterior pharyngeal wall, subtle asymmetry of vocal fold motion, and pooling of secretions in the left pyriform. The patient’s symptoms progressed to shortness of breath and stridor, requiring brief intubation 11 months postoperatively. At that point, laryngoscopic examination showed fullness of the posterior pharyngeal wall and severely limited vocal fold abduction bilaterally.
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