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Will incorrectly sized/stiff collor cause REVERSIBLE HORNER SYNDROME?

Resolved Question:

Horner's Syndrome post ACDF-could placement of an incorrectly sized stiff collar/too large for patient post op be the cause of the HS?
How long does reversible HS typically last?

Category: Neurosurgeon

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Category: Spine Surgeon
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Thank you for your query at

I understand your concern.

Horner's syndrome is one of the known but rare complications of ACDF. It is a surgical complication and may not be due to an incorrect sized or stiff cervical collar.

One can expect recovery within 4-6 months in case of a reversible Horner's syndrome.

I hope this was helpful.

Feel free to ask queries.

Thank you.

Patient replied :

I m not sure if you received a portion of my reply with f/u question. can you make a guess as to my chances of a reversible vs permenant HS... I won't hold you to any #...just trying to keep expectation levels in check. also, I developed a bilateral neuropathy of hands/wrist extension. (I guess C7-8). We cannot do an MRI b/c of neurostim unit. So we are scheduling a CT mylogram and EMG studies. The right came back 70% after prednisone pack adm. Could the neuropathy be related to the horners? thanks again for your time!

Since HS being a rare phenomenon post ACDF we dont see it often. In the last 10 years I had seen 2 patients with HS post ACDF. In both of them HS was permanent.
Your neuropathy is not related to Horner's here. Mostly Horner's is not a cause of neuropathy, in cases like this. Here your neuropathy is secondary to ACDF. The most common complications are - anesthesia, thrombophlebitis, infection, nerve damage, neuropathy, nonunion, ongoing continuous pain.
Do get back to us for additional queries..

Hope that answers your queries.


Dr. Goutham Cugati
Category: Spine Surgeon
Residency: Neurosurgery, the Post-Graduate Institute of Neurological Surgery, Dr. Achanta Lakshmipathi Neuro surgical Center, VHS Hospital, Chennai, 2011

Postgraduate in Neurosugery: DNB, National Board of Examinations,
Part 1 - 2008, Part 2 -  2010

Medical School: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, JSS Medical College, 2004
Dr. Goutham Cugati and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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