Hi, Just found this site. Looks like a great source of information. Wish I knew about this prior to and right after surgery. I had ACDF of C5-6 C6-7 with titanium plate and screws. Dr. used a cage with bone fragments and bone protein not my own hip bone, just fragments from cleaning up the area. I had excessive swelling and was in the hospital for almost 6 days before they started steroids and I felt better. The first week home was brutal, but now at 5 weeks post op I am doing pretty good. Only wore a hard collar for a few days in the hospital and then they switched me to a soft collar. Was told that it wasn't necessary at my 3 week check up. I still wear it when I am in discomfort, pain or in a car. Swallowing is still an issue. I use applesauce or alot of water to get certain foods down. Still can't eat bagels, sandwiches, burgers or red meat. Just started eating chicken. Anyone else have these issues. At times my thumbs go numb and I get tingling (faint) on my left arm. Is there a reason to be concerned or is it part of the healing process. I still have limited rotation / flexibility in my neck. How long does it take to come back? My surgeon doesn't believe in PT for fear of moving the hardware. I would like to drive and go back to work. I am a teacher and I have some concerns with the amount of time I will need to look down and getting bumped by the kids (4th grade). I still get some muscle spasms and knots in my shoulder along with discomfort and pain in my lower neck area. How long does this last. Just started not getting tired and sore from showering. YEAH! Any thoughts from people who have been through this process. Need advice from people who have been there and experienced what I am dealing with. Thanks for all of your advice and help.