J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2020 Jul;10(2):167-171. 10.34160/jkds.2020.10.2.004.

Dysphagia after Cervical Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy: A Case Report

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Gwangju Veterans Hospital, Gwangju, Korea


ntradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET), which is a minimally invasive treatment, was performed to treat cervical HNP. Although IDET has a relatively short recovery time and lower cost compared to surgical treatment, it can still cause complications, such as nerve injury due to improper insertion of the catheter and temperature of the heating coil. This paper reports a rare case of dysphagia following IDET in Korea. A 71-year-old male complained of hoarseness and dysphagia after IDET on the C6-7 level. A Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Study revealed vallecula and a pyriform sinus remnant, as well as incomplete vocal cord adduction. Subglottic aspiration was observed in the entire examination. The main cause of the dysphagia was attributed to recurrent laryngeal nerve injury during IDET through the right anterior approach at the C6-7 level. In conclusion, even in the case of minimally invasive procedures, the anterior approach may cause neurological damage, such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve. A fter the procedure, it is necessary to observe the patient’s symptoms, consider further evaluations, and perform rehabilitation treatment.


Cervical vertebrae; Deglutition disorders; Intradiscal electrothermal therapy; Recurrent laryngeal nerve
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