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Collar Questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I've been reading the forum for a while and have found it quite informative. I had C5-C7 ACDF with titanium plate/screws and an autograft on 11/6/08. I'm looking for some advice on how I wean myself off of the collar. My OS sorta left me to improvise.

I wore an Aspen collar 24x7 except for showering until last Tuesday. To help transition, I now have a soft collar that I've been wearing most of the time, including sleeping. With the significantly less support that the soft collar provides I expected and have some increased pain/soreness. However, with the soft collar I've been having dull headaches that I didn't have with the Aspen, and when I'm not wearing it, I sometimes feel like my equilibrium is off. I start PT this Tuesday.

Any experiences or suggestions would be appreciated.


  • Hi, I had a 5/6 acdf done on 12/4/08 allready off the collar.Only had to wear it 4 weeks.My doctor said to also to wean my self off from it. also wore the aspen collar. doc said to wear collar couple of hours.then take it off for a couple of hours.Doc said no pt.did not think i would need it.Just started sleeping in bed,been sleeping in my recliner for 3 months.Guess it takes awhile for the neck muscle to get strong again.neck still hurts.still have tingling in my face and neck.I do not sleep with any collar 0n.Can not sleep laying down with a collar on,even a soft collar.do you wake up with sore neck?I have one of those pillows that support the neck.Still can not sleep on my side.To relieve so of the sorness when I shower I try to work my neck back and forth and up and down while the hot water runs over it.Ask your doctor about 2 hours on and 2 hours off.Good luck
  • Thanks, I will try the on/off routine. With drugs and a foam pillow I managed to sleep in bed with the Aspen collar - no joy at all. I'd have to be in a coma to sleep in a recliner. I gradually started sleeping on 1 side this past week; can't yet do the other side. My neck isn't sore when I wake up, but the area between shoulder blades is some days. My tingling has reduced, but not gone. Hope you feel better soon.

  • collar

    i guess it depends on doctors how long or if at all you wear a collar. mine was irritable for 1st couple weeks. slept in first 4 wks. then could sleep without and sit around house without but need to wear all times out and about for 2 wks. due to bad weather hear im going to wear it on walks. i was allowed to shower without it i had to cover surgery area with plastic wrap and tape. this way i could let the hot shower wrk on my knotted neck, but keeping head straight and stiff. any time i ate or sat on the couch i would loosen collar since it was easier to eat with it loose. hard to swallow food with it on. im pretty limber and its been 7 wks. i had daughter rub knots out of neck and shoulders. also your neck muscles will weaken while using collar.
    so just give it time.
  • I don't know how you get out of the collar so soon? I wore my collar for 6 weeks. I only took it off to shower. When I showered, I replaced the pads in it with clean ones. I slept in it and though it wasn't comfortable, I often used a round foam pillow under my neck, as well as tried many types of pillows. I did simple exercises: putting my fingers against the front, sides and back of my head while using my neck to push against them. Simple, but at least some strengthening while I was in the collar.
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