It has been 1 year since my riding accident and surgery/fusion. I am pain free, have huge range of motion, just limited when I drive and need to turn for traffic.
I found out that after the surgery, if you have long hair as I did, go to a beauty parlor and have them wash your hair until your cervical collar comes off. Then get a good hair cut from a top salon (helps the ego). The scar does get minimal, and using hemorrhoid medicine helps take down the swelling of the scar! (I swear).
I did sleep in my foam collar at night for another 4 months. I also used a cervical pillow.
As I anticipate another surgery, this time lumbar region, I will just take my time.
MVS fusion C5,6,7 (2009) Fusion L4,5s1 (2010) Fusion T10-S1 (2015)