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

No collar? No physical therpy?

ktrombkktromb Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Newbie here. I posted in "new members" a couple of weeks ago and got some nice welcoming replies, but I hadn't talked to my surgeon yet. Today I met the neurosurgeon who will be doing a 2 level ACDF on me on August 2. I've been in pain since January and have tried all the conservative treatments so I'm quite ready for surgery. However, I was shocked that he doesn't have his patients wear hard or soft collars post-surgery and he said I might not need physical therapy. This seems so opposite from what I've read in a lot of posts here.

He said he will be doing "discectomies with allograft bone and plating." He said the plating makes a collar unnecessary. He also said many of his patients don't seem to need PT.

I think I'm thrilled to not have to wear a collar, but many of you seemed to think the collar was "comforting" if uncomfortable.

Any thoughts on whether I should ask more questions about the collar?



  • I have had a ACDEF surgery. My doctor demanded i wear a collor, In fact when he looked at the MRI results at his office he at once scheduled surgery because the situation had deterioted and i was a walking 'time bomb',,meaning it was so bad something really seriousely could have happened at any time,, at least that what i understood,. He sent me to a office in the spine clinic building and had me fitted for a collor at once. This was two days before surgery.

    Im still on it two weeks post op and with strict instructs to keep it on for 4 more weeks.Im doing very well,,, and am now thinking of pysical therapy that lays my way.

    Now i did see a post somewhere where somebody else had a doctort who didnt use collors. z

    I guess its just what each individual surgeon as a person comes to believe. They are taught probbbaly the pros and cons of wearing a collor and make up thier minds what they think is best, U can call and ask for a reason why.
    U can d oa google search on the subject and see for urself the goood and the bad for the collor. Then u may be able to see the reasons through the doctors eyes better.

    IF u shouild or shouldent isent for me to say. That is somethign u really need to talk to your doctor about or his nurse. Dont be shy...call their office and ask, Be respectful and"patient" . They are busy people neurosurgeons but i cant see why they wont try to find some time to call back and answer your questions. Either that otr wait till u see him again.

    The collor is noce, it makes u feel safe but has a addicting quality to it. I think im goingto want to have it around for a wiele even after im told to take it off. It keeps your neck still so it dosent roll around. Think of those dogs that have those funnels ont hier neck... the collor keeps the neck in place so it can heal.

    but there are some that for some reason dont think the collor is a good idea.My surgeon just wasent among them.

    When u see him again or the nurse ask them. In the meantime look up the pros and cons here on the internet,,so u will have some idea of whatever debate goes on about it,. i think out of curiousity i will do it myself.

    Blessings to u in your suregery and may a quick and easy recvovery be urs!
  • That is true some surgeons don't use collars and that physical therapy part I myself have been in the same situation. If you tried physical therapy for some of your conservative treatment is you already basically know what to do. The collar deal also has to do with why they are doing surgery, and the muscles they have to work with. So while they do ACDF for all surgeries the reason for surgery maybe completely different. You might have herniated disc where as someone else may have a stability issue. If your trusting the surgeon to do the work then trust what he/she recommends and it will all work out. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • HI,
    I just had a re-do anterior and posterior fusion,C-5 to C7 and I did wear a collar for like 4 weeks....then saw the dr who said to start removing it now and then and start doing some neck exercises. I never went for PT and now hardly wear it at all, unless my neck gets tired... I'm 9 weeks post op and doing ok!
    Even the first time, for anterior only, I had a collar.
    I think the collar helps a bit....you neck is weak after surgery... I'd be very surprised if I didn't wake up with one after surgery..
    Good luck and hope all goes ok!
  • I had basically neither but I only had one level done. I did come home with a collar from the hospital but the surgeon said it was up to me to wear it or not. Had no PT. I agree a lot must depend on what is being done. The sooner you start to use the muscles the sooner they will come back. If he doesn't tell you that you'll need either I wouldn't worry about it. If you find you need one at a later point you can always get one. I did wear one while I was in the hospital which was for 1 night.
  • On 6/30 I had a ACDF from c4-7 with titanium cage post corpectomy of c5 and my surgeon does not have you wear a collar. I am a nurse myself and of course ask why for everything so this is his explanation...

    They started doing this surgery a long long time ago and did not use metal instrumentation at the time so of course you needed to wear a collar. The titanium plating and screws are there for a reason now....

    His fear with using a collar is that you will lose range of motion in the joints that he did not fuse. From post op day 1 he had me gently doing range of motion exercises. Now at 17 days out, I've already driven and have excellent range of motion given what was done to me. It's still tight but I'm so grateful that I can work out some of my stiffness in the morning!! The collar would of course feel like a safety net but trust me, you don't forget to move slowly...

    The PT is the same for me as well. His reasoning was simply that this would be my 5th round of PT and if I felt like I needed it I could but that I should already know what to do.

    Hope that helps :)
  • I just had ACDF one level 4-5, I have a soft collar to wear in the car and at night. It all depends on the instrumentation and how strong your bones are. I don't think I am having physical therapy, I am going to ask at my 6 week visit...... I would like to because I have lost a lot of strength in the last year.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
Sign In or Register to comment.