Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

how to get comfortable while sleeping post 2 level ACDF

smiemssmiem Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a 2 level ACDF C5/6 and C6/7 with donor bone and hardware on Tuesday 2/15. My leg pain was instantly gone and my arm pain is improved. My Dr said I did not need to wear the hard Miami J collar while sitting in the chair/couch or while sleeping. He suggested a travel neck pillow while sleeping. Though when up and about I need the collar.

Nothing I am trying works to get comfortable. I don't feel stable without the neck collar for sleeping. I am afraid I am going to twist or turn or do something wrong and mess up my neck surgery.

I have tried multiple pillows but then my mid back hurts from the weird pressure. The travel pillow just feels strange. I would like to sleep on my side, but I'm not sure how to get the angle correct on my body and the pillows.

The Dr has assured me with the hardware my neck is very tough and I won't be able to injure it while sleeping.

Any advice?


  • I can understand how you feel. I had a 3 level ACDF C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 on Monday 2/14. The neurosurgeon said everything went well "technically". I was in the hospital for 2 days instead of the usual 1 because of excessive vomiting from Mophine. After coming home I feel fairly good except I can't find a decent sleeping position. I wear a soft collar when I go to bed but the pain at the base of my neck keeps me up and even Percocet etc doesn't help and I can not get any sleep. The surgeon told me he had used titanium plate and screws to hold the bone graft together so as long as I did not turn my head I did not need to use the soft collar.

    I do find that with the soft collar on fairly snug I am able to lay on my side for a little while but I wouldn't dare try that without the collar.
  • Had a 2 level on 12/9. I slept in a soft collar and in a recliner for about 6 weeks. I got the best sleep that way. I tried using the soft collar with a bunch of pillow propped up in the bed. Works ok. Still feel the recliner was the best for sleeping. If your dr won't get you a script for soft collar you can go to a surgical supply store and get one. I feel the snugger it is or fuller it is the better. I h ad an older smaller one that did nothing. I still wear the soft collar for sleeping and when ever I am sore. Only for the last week did I stop wearing it in the car. Good luck
  • Frenchfri I think you are right on about the recliner. I put on my soft collar and was able to grab a few winks on the recliner earlier today after having no sleep last night. I have this lift chair which can adjust electronically into any position from an upright chair to a flat bed. So it is good for adjusting into a comfortable position. I have an electric blanket plugged in for warmth. I'll have to see if I can spend an entire night on it tonight.
  • That lift chair sounds great. Did insurance cover it for after the surgery or is it something you just bought. Sounds like a perfect chair/bed. I tried to sleep without the soft collar last night. Tossed and turned and uncomfortable finally put it on at 5:30 and got 2 hours of sleep. I did sleep in the recliner for 2 hours before deciding to try and go up to bed, so at least I got a few hours. Good luck keeping warm and getting a decent nights sleep. It makes the days go easier. :)
  • My NS is not very cooperative with these things so I had to pay out of my pocket for the chair. I bought it on line after a Google search(there are dozens of models. This one is Maxi Comfort Rise by a company called Golden Technologies)It is covered by Medicare if the Dr takes the time to fill out all the paper work, so I guess other ins. cos. would cover it too.

    By the way I did not spend the night on the chair- I toss and turn too much and have a hip problem too so I have an adjustable Tempurpedic bed. I do spend most of the day and evening on the chair ie when not walking around etc. But when you have a lot of problems with your body(a bad neck, lower back, knees, hip....}it is hard to find comfort anywhere. I try not to take too many pain meds and alternate between Demerol, Percocet and trmadol. I don't want to get hooked on any one of them. I only use them at night when it is hard to lay in bed with pain.

    Are you sure about not taking Celebrex because my NS had me take 2 a day for 2 days prior to surgery. Unfortunately I forgot to ask him about post op and now I don't see him until Tue.
  • I had the same surgery on 12/6 and had to use the hard collar 24x7 per DR so had to sleep with it on - I bought a Wedge Pillow for my bed and used that with a regular pillow for comfort and also put pillows under my knees to take pressure off lower back .. can't say I got a full nights sleep that way but it was OK. After 2 weeks I was told I could take the hard collar off and use nothing - could not sleep for a week due to muscle spasms. DR gave me a script for Valium and slept like a baby ever since. Don't need it anymore to sleep. I wish they gave me the valium from the get go - worked way better than Robaxin or Flexeril in the beginning. Now when I over due it and have muscle spasms I use Flexeril at night and it works.
    I hope you have a smooth recovery and all goes well. Keep us posted and let us know if you need anything or just to chat -- the hardest part of the recovery is the sheer boredom once you are up and able to do more but are still limited..
    Take Care.
  • Today is one week post surgery and sleeping isn't much better yet. It's not even my neck that hurts. It's just getting comfortable in bed. Sleeping on my back with pillows propped up works fine for the neck, but my mid back spasms and prior to surgery I would just shift positions, but I can't because I am so afraid of hurting my neck. I LOVE sleeping on my side, guess I will need to learn how to sleep on my back.

    3 days post surgery I stopped taking pain meds (hydrocodone). Medicine is worthless and made me queasy. I was afraid if I stopped taking it pain would be worse, but not so. Obviously I don't need it. I am taking a muscle relaxant at bedtime, to help with my overall spasms and sleeping. I presume it will get better with time.

    I feel good and one week post op I can say - I am glad I did it.
  • 1 week post surgery! I had a similar experience - did not need pain meds but muscle spasms were tough to deal with. I would ask your DR for something to help you sleep - your lack of sleep could be making your spasms worse because they are not getting a good chance to relax! I am too a side sleeper and could not sleep on my back. I got a script for Valium and took that at night instead of the muscle relaxers and slept like a baby .. muscle spasms relaxed after I got a few nights of sleep. I still get them but nothing compared to the 1st few weeks post-op!
    Hope you ocntinue to progress well! Take Care!
  • Glad you are pleased with your recovery so far. I found that the muscle relaxer was really a big help along with sleeping in the recliner. Keep up the [positive attude and continue to do well.
  • Glad you are pleased with your recovery so far. I found that the muscle relaxer was really a big help along with sleeping in the recliner. Keep up the [positive attitude and continue to do well.
Sign In or Register to comment.