I am 3 weeks post op from an ACDF fusion of the c 4/5 with instrumentation. I don't have neck pain, I don't think I ever really did.
What I have are headaches. EVERY DAY. I had them before, but these feel stronger/different. I take vicodin/Soma. My family thinks I weaned too hard. I went off the hard collar and weaned down the vic. at the same time. Even the nurse practitoner said the same thing. So, I am back on the full dose of vic./Soma. I hope things get better, because what I have been reading in other Spine Health forums, scare the begeezes out of me! I did this to STOP the headaches!
(btw, this all got diagnosed a year ago, when, at age 48, I found out that I don't have a functioning C-1. It is deformed, and fused to the base of my skull, consequently, the C 2-7 are carrying a load they were not built to do.)