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c3-7 cervical discectomy and recovery process

bwnfld57bbwnfld57 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello to everyone. My 4 level surgery was March 8th. I wore the hard collar for 6 weeks, and have been in a soft collar for 6 days. I had very little pain in the hard collar, and now my pain is in my neck, shoulders, and upper back. I wonder if the pain is more from the lack of support in the soft collar, or maybe I am doing too much? Or both. I am still restricted to 10-15 pounds lifting, but occasionally partially pick up my 20 lb grandson, with help. I have been advised to walk to help the muscle pain in my neck, but haven't been able to start due to other health problems (weakness from ischemic colitis which required 5 days in hospital 11 days after my surgery, copd, bad knees and fibromyalgia). Am I too active? Or is this natural pain from not having the hard collar on? Thank you for any help you can give me.


  • I wore a hard collar for 15 weeks and thought I was doing good but when I got out of it I have been going downhill ever since. That is why I am back on this board. I am new so hope this posts correctly. I am trying as well to see if others out there had such a hard time post surgery because of wearing collars. I can put mine on and feel so much better but then I take it off after 20 mins of relief because everyone says it's bad for my progress...
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I have had 5 neck surgeries. With 3 I was in a collar for 12 weeks. Everytime I came out of the collar the problems would begin just as your describing. For my self the problems were all muscles. They havent been used in quite some time so they are going to be sore.
    The other 2 surgeries were without collars and Ive had no problems. Did you ween yourself from the collar or just quit wearing it at one time? I can remember when I would take the brace off for the first time it felt like my head was going to fall off! Have you tried putting your brace on for a few hours and then maybe go a hour without? Then repeat the cycle again
    Good luck
  • Probably a good time to start some PT to get the strength back in those muscles. Talk to your doctor.
  • Hi, I just had the exact same surgery(c3-7) a week ago this past Thursday. I am interested in hearing how your recovery progresses. I will be in a hard collar/brace for a minimum of 12 weeks. Wish you the best in your recovery. Kim
  • After my ACDF, I had pain in the back of my neck and shoulder and back pain that were caused by muscle spasms. My surgeon said the pain in the back of the neck was from the fusion and to be expected as were the muscle spasms.

    I still have pain in the back of my neck and it's probably due to the movement I still have at C6/7 (non-fusion) and mine will probably never go away until I have additional surgery posteriorly to put in a cage. But that's not going to happen until I hae significant arm symptoms that I can no longer live with.

    So, what I'm saying, is that it could be muscle related but also just ACDF related as the fusion is taking place. Hopefully PT will help when you get to that point.

  • I like you had a previous anterior 3 level fusion with no brace and was back at work in 2 weeks. I think the bracing this time was the root of all my evil. However now I am having the EXACT same pain I was before surgery so who knows? Thanks for replying. SOrry it took me so long I hurt using my mouse and I have had a setup back lately so I am basically just laying around waiting to heal.
  • I also did massage therapy and acupuncture and prilo therapy. All of it to no avail I am at presurgery pain level as if it was for nothing. All the pain of getting debraced has gone but now all my shoulder, knife in the back and pain down my arm, tingling fingers has all returned just like before my surgery.
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