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Days Post ACDF C5-C7 With Hardware & Hard Collar

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey everyone, Just wanted to say I'm 20 days Post ACDF C5-C7 using Allograft. First few days post surgery were really tough. The pain between the shoulder from position during surgery made it hard to sleep. I have to wear a hard collor 24/7 for 5-6 weeks, only can remove it to shower & Shave.

I stopped taking the pain meds 3 days post, took a few Tylenol on that Friday and nothing since then.

Multiple pillow in the bed didn nothing for me the first week, I mostly would sleep in the recliner. The following week we went to a medical Supply store and found this pillow that looks like a horse shoe, it really helps alot. I went from 1-2 hours of sleep per night to now getting 6-7 hours.

Walk Walk Walk, I walk as much as possible.

If you have any question please feel free to contact me.

**** Surgery over all wasn't to back, the pain and numbness in my right are was gone when I woke up and is still gone ****

Swallowing issues, 20 days out and still have some swallowing problems but it's getting better



  • Hi Gary,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Sounds like you are doing really well. Just be sure you don't over due it. I see alot who seem to get a false since of security as they are feeling so much better and then bam the pain comes back. You are on the right path and the walking is so important. My surgeon actually gives a walking program to follow and it sure does help. Keep up the good work and will see you around the forums. Before you know it this will be just a memory and you will be back out in a busy life. Take care.
  • Hey thanks for responding. I don't do to much during the day other than my walks. I might pick up a broom other than that walking and rest. Have you been through this ?? Did you have the same issues with swallowing ?? Also how long does it take for a total fusion to occur??

  • Hi,

    I go for acd at the end of the month. How are you feeling now? I'm scared but some days the pain is so intense that I can't wait to get some relief.

    I hope you're feeling better! :)

  • I had a ACDF C5/6 with bone spurs removed too on 06/15. I'm still taking percoset 7.5 and having some sharp pain on movements. My surgeon didn't want me to wear a collar so I'm wondering if that's causing more pain? My incision is still covered with steri-strips but it feels like a large lump underneath the incision that will move when I swallow. I'm feeling pain when I shower and wash my hair. I am a mom and have been doing cooking and folding clothes and lighter things like sweeping. I haven't lifted anything over 5 lbs, but worry that something isn't right or either I'm doing too much. My surgeon only gave me 30 pain pills and I've had to take them every 4 hours and so far at night around 2am to get back to sleep. I'm just about out. So I feel like I'm abnormal or having too much pain or I'm a baby. I thought I was tough. Can you or anyone else help me feel normal? Do you have pain still? Is your incision knotted and lumpy?

  • <):) Cindy, My sergery was June 2 C5-C7 with hardware And hard collar for at least 6 weeks. Over all I'm feeling great. I have some issues swallowing but my surgeon says this is normal because we did the frontal approach and they have to move everything to the side to access the spine.

    The swallowing issues are getting better each week. I stopped all pain meds 3 days after surgery. I hates taking meds if I don't need them and trust me, I only needed tylenol on that Friday and I felt much beeter on Saturday once those meds were oout of my system.

    Trust your surgeon and don't be scared, I know what you're saying but be strong. I had so muh pain in my right arm is would bring tears from time to time. I never took anything other than tylenol and anti-inflamitory meds prior to surgery, never took any prescription pain meds.

    Once again feel free to ask me anything. I was so thankful to locates this site prior to surgery, It made me feel so much better going into it.

  • Candle99, If you just had surgery 6/15 I believe the pain you are having is normal, it took me a total of 3 day to feel I could go without the pain meds. Is your pain between your shoulder bladdes?? If it is and they did a frontal approach the pain is more than likley from the position they had you in during surgery. The hyper-extension of your neck. Most all of my pain 99% WAS between my shoulder bladdes. You might want to get a new pillow kinda like the one at this link
    < http://www.ad-promotion-gift.com/pc/45/Neck-Pillow_521.html

    It really helped me sleep. Keeps the shoulder out of the picture, I was only getting like 2 hours aof sleep per night the first week but once I got the pillow I started getting between 5 - 7 hours per night.

  • ...good to see your progress so far. Looks like you are doing many of the right things.

    I'm 24 days post op, and feeling a bit better each day. Seems like my neck muscles have "caught up" over the last few days, and I'm feeling more stable.

    Swallowing has gotten better, but I still have a lump feeling in my throat...

    Only pain is really just minor to moderate soreness at the base of my skull/back of my neck. Also feels like I've gotten more side to side ROM back recently...still not much with up and down, and any sudden movements in any direction and I certainly feel it.

    Sleep remains a big challenge, but getting better. I have a chronic shoulder issue, so that's also keeping me up at night...

    Candle - give it time and have patience...you are very early and will probably see small improvements soon. My advice would be to try to reduce the percocet, but you need to do what is best for you to manage the pain. My incision is a bit lumpy, and it still "pulls" when I twist my neck. Careful with the stuff around the house...sounds like you are taking care of the family, but also take care of yourself.

  • OBX, it's good to hear you are doing well. Each day my swallowing is getting a little better. I can't wait to get this hard collar off. It's a true pain in the butt. So how's the weather on the obx we'll be down this weekend for several days.

  • I'm 30 days today post ACDF C5-C7, My first weeks were the hardest, and the pain between the shoulders from surgery position was intense at times. But let me tell you this much, when I went into Surgery 6/2/09 at 7am I went in with pain/numbness & tingling in the right arm and fingers, When I woke up from surgery and got my bearings, the arm and fingers were 99% back to normal. The pain was gone and stayed gone. The numbness which was on a scale of 1-10 prior to surgery was staying around 9 in the fingers had gone to 1 after and within 2 weeks has gone to (0) yes Zero. Swallowing has been an issue and still is but that's getting better. I'll be happy when those issues are gone. It's hard to learn how to sleep in the hard collar but trust me you'll figure it out. I go back to my surgeon this Monday July 6th I hope I'm released to go back to work. I'm just not the type to stay home, I do walk several miles a day .
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