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cervical fusion post op 2 weeks

Carol13CCarol13 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, Thank you for welcoming to this site. I have had cervical fusuin surgey on Oct.22 2008. Levels 5-6 6-7. Doing pretty good. I do wear a hard colar 24/7 . more weeks in it. I have stopped pain meds almost imediatly. They sometimes would make me throw up. I had cadaver bone and all the usual protocal. I gat scared when I remove colar for shower. Head feels heavy.Cant wait to put it back on. Is it hard to get used to not wearing it when the time comes? I have a love hate relationship with it.
Thank you Carol13 image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />
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Comments

  • Your neck feels heavy because your neck muscles have already started to atrophy. They are weak from non-use...it's not an unstable fusion that's making your head feel heavy. I would definitely follow your doctor's orders, but FYI I had a single level fusion (C5C6) and do not have to wear a collar at all. You can check out other recent threads on the collar-no collar topic for other peoples experiences. After reading them, I'm very glad I had my NS! Good Luck - you aren't alone.
  • I have been in my hard collar for 2 months going on my 3rd month and I wear my 24/7 also. I shower with mine on and my husband changes the pads to dry ones. I have a love hate relationship with mine also.. How are you sleeping? I am having earaches all the time right now which is strange Im thinking it might be a nerve or muscle thing... Did they go through the front or back... they went through the back with me... Im still on my pain med, I cant imagine not having it... Make sure you dont over due cause it will catch up with you... Cyndi
    You look cute in your brace...
  • Hi, I'm so glad I found this site. My husband had surgery on Oct. 6, 08. He had a disectomy with fusion on his C3-4 with cadavor bone. They went in through the neck. He also has to wear a "C" collar, 24/7, but can remove it to shower. He still takes pain meds because he is having pain in the back of his neck. He wanted me to email you and tell you that the doctor gave him Ambiem to help him sleep. He also sleeps in a recliner on his back reclined back. It's awful, but I think the end result is worth it. Just hang in there. Sometimes it's so depressing for him because he can't move the way he use to.
  • They went in through the front of my neck.Scar looks like a cat scratch. Not bad. I real dont like to take to many meds. I throw up from them. Ive even gotten sick from tylenal. It does help to eat something with meds.Is ambian adictive? And thank you for telling me Im cute in collar. Im not feeling that way though.LOL. Im very sore under my chin from brace. I have it off today. Ill still sleep in it till mid November.And yes ,it is easier to sleep in a recliner. Im just not comfortable sleeping in family room.I do nap in it durring the day.Cant wait for this to be over. Thank you for responding.Its so nice to get this suppprt from ones who know.Carol
  • I also am haveing aches in ear. Right side. It feels better when I remove brace. Its probly pressure. Im always adjusting it. Wow, they went in from the back on you! Is that why your in your collar for two months? I realy feel for you. I cant sleep well at all. Glad you have a supportive husband. Mine is too. Dont know what Id do without him. Youll be in my prayers. Carol
  • Thanks for reply. I have collor off first time today. I just dont move my neck at all. I feel more confident now. Lucky you one level.How fast did you or will you return to work? I lost my job because short term disability ran out. No long term was available. Ill be sleeping in collar still. Cant control how I move when asleep.Carol
  • Hi Carol,
    I am 10 days post up after revision surgery C5-6 and C6-7. My 1st surgery I had a hard collar as well and I too thought that my head would fall off when I took off the collar. I cheated in the house and took it off if I was just sitting.
    My second surgery ,I woke up without a collar on and was concerned where it was. My NS doesn't use them only in very difficult cases. It's amazing how surgeons all have different opinions on collars. I am very happy that I don't have one because that was the worse part of the recovery for me.
    Hang in there. When you finally get to throw it away ,you will be amazed that you tolerated it as long as you did.
    Good Luck ! Bethy

  • Hi Carol,

    I had ACDF C3>C6 on Sept 17th (3 level, cadaver bone, titanium plates and screws). No collar. My doctor does not believe in them and said the hardware will hold everything in place. It was very scary and painful with no collar for the first two weeks. Any movement was a big issue. I am now going for physical therapy. My xray last week during doctors appointment showed fusion just beginning. I have problems with medication also and stopped taking anything on my second day home from the hospital. Now I will take motrin or tylenol if I have a lot of pain (I've only done this a few times), otherwise I just tough it out. I had a reaction to morphin in the hospital, delaudid (not sure of spelling) gave me terrible stomach pain and Oxycodrone makes me feel like I can't breath. There have been a few days I would have taken perscription meds if they did not bother me so much but since they do I toughed it out. My PT says sometimes its better to take meds because being in pain can effect the bodies ability to heal. Hopefully that is not a problem. Anyway good luck with a quick and easy recovery,
    LJ
  • Beth,
    Like you, I also remove collar when Im still. Second surgery? Wow !! That scares me. Would you or others out there know if social security accepts this as a disability? Im worried because I have worked labor jobs all alomg. I am 51 years young. I just cant see me standing or sitting all day again. Definetly no more forklift truck driving. I have no education past a ged.
    I realy dont want to NOT work. I liked to work. And then there is the issue of no jobs now too! Please give some info on others like myself. I know they have to out there.
    Thank you,
    Carol13
  • LJ
    Do we fuse faster if younger? Im just woundering? My doc told me I wont need PT. I hated it. I went therapy and a chiopracter to try to prevent this surgery. Now Im struggling with insurance co. to pay chiopracter. (cant spell)Hope you feel better
    Carol13
  • Carol,
    I went back to work the 13th day after my surgery I only worked 2 days that week, I'm working 3 days this week. Next week I'm scheduled for 4 days. I am currently 3 1/2 weeks post-op. I'm not doing my regular duties, because that would involve wrestling big dogs, but I am doing "light duties"...lab work, IV treatments, administrative, etc. that don't involve lifting or straining. I had to switch from hydrocodeine to codeine because the hydro made me too fuzzy, but even that I'm only taking 1-2 per day. They let me take long lunches so I can go home and relax on the couch with a heating pad. I'm very lucky to have these options. Believe me, I would have rather stayed at home to relax and heal for a couple more weeks, but I am single and need the paycheck.

    My NS says I should be back to all regular activities (including horseback riding, skiing, rafting, etc.) in 6 months. Hopefully you will recover well enough to resume a lot of your normal activities and work.
  • Thank you for info. I lost my job ,I only had short term disability. No long term. I waisted time with chiopracter. if I had surgery right away, I might still have a job. So , Im trying to get soc. security now. Whos going to hire me at this age and with all this. I worked labor jobs. Not enough exsperiance at desk work. Ill wait to see what happens. Glad to hear you can work so soon.Gives me hope.
    Good luck and thank you,
    Carol13
  • Hi, I had my anterior cervical discectomy with fusion on October 22, 2008. I felt really great after the surgery. The constant burning in my right arm ceased upon recovery from the surgery as well as most of the pressure in the back of my head. However, only 2 months later all of my symptoms have returned (except for the burning down the arm). I continue to have the constant pressure in the back of my head, severe neck pain, pain down my arm, and numbness down my right arm into my hand. I have also begun to feel numbness in my left side. I cannot return to my NS because I was laid off immediately after returning to work from disability. My NS refuses to treat me because I do not have insuarnce that the office accepts. The Ortho that did the surgery with the NS (took bone marrow from my hip for the cage to fuse spine) has agreed to give me x-rays to check on the progress of my fusion. To date, I have none. I feel horrible every day and am on so much medication that it is hard to keep track of. I just had another MRI this week and will return to my pain mgmt doctor on Monday for the results. I was 32 years old when this happened. I have not had a cigarette since June 2007! Why no fusion??? Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

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