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neck brace question

reidsmsmrreidsmsm Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had disc 6&7 in my neck taken out and new bone put in and fuzed. my question is my DR told me not to wear a neck brace... I don't understand why she would tell me not to wear one.. it is just a soft brace and my neck feels so good when it is on. can anyone help me understand this. I am 55 and do not want to go thru this again! Thanks, Pam ps I just had it done on the 2/21/12


  • There are doctors who prescribe a collar, and others don't. I think it all depends on the individual patient and doctor preference. I have heard that doctors don't want their patients to get dependent on using it, as the muscles do deteriorate when using a collar. So it is probably best for you not to wear one to keep your muscles strong.

    There are some who are required to wear one, but those are often people who have multi-levels done. I know I have been required to wear a collar for months after each surgery.

    Good luck. Look around here on spine-health. you will find lots of patient stories and get to meet a lot of people. we are all here to help.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Welcome Pam :H ,

    Welcome aboard! After I had my 2 level ACDF at C5/6 and C6/7 in 2009, my neurosurgeon had me wear a soft collar home and said to wear it for a few days then use my own judgment. Keeping the collar on constantly does not give the muscle a chance to regain their strength. I know what you are saying about how good it feels when you are wearing it. I still wear mine while in the car, just because any little bump or jerk turns on mine pain button. I also use my collar as a means to keep an ice pack wrapped in a towel around my neck (no more than about 20 minutes). I kinda can feel when I want to wear it ... mainly to remind ME not to turn abruptly one way or the other. I have very limited range of motion. Things like cooking, doing laundry, very light housework, I will wear it. I kinda use my own judgment. Hope this helps. Again, Glad you joined us. Please keep us posted.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Reidsmsm, I too had my C5-C7 ACDF 2/21, I was told to wear my soft neck brace as I felt I needed it so I take it off when I feel like it but when my neck muscles get tired I put it back on and I'm still using it at night when I'm sleeping. I find that I'm waking up with my neck tilted at odd angles which I can't help but if I have the brace on it keeps my neck from lolling too far to one side. My neck and shoulder muscles are still very sore. I'm wearing my neck brace less with every day tho. Different viewpoints from different doctors is confusing, I don't know if I'm doing the right things with regard to sleeping in the recliner, pillow or no pillow support, or if my posture should mainly be based on my comfort level. Probably overthinking it too much? I feel like you do, I want to fuse properly and don't want future problems. I know I feel better with walking so I'm trying to get it in every day.
  • I agree notso =D> !

    I did not mention sleeping in my collar previously but, yes I did, for the very reasons you stated. I had a bone spur removed at C7/T1 in March 2008, so I was still healing from that procedure when I underwent my 2 level ACDF at C5/6 & C C6/7 in July 2009. Within that year not only was I waging war on my level 8 to 10+ pain, but trying to heal the battle site ~X( . Arthritic changes in the fusion area prompted my neurosurgeon to do the ACDF. Anything I could do to keep my pain level down I did. As you said, I wore my collar throughout day as I felt I needed it and while sleeping. I didn't want my neck twisting the wrong way. I have very limited range of motion ... a little better than it was, but still not like it used to be. It took me about a year and at the advise of my pain management doc to not sleep in it. Everyone is different. I say just use common sense. I wore my collar quite a bit, I think, because the procedures were only a year apart and it was my safety net. Made me feel better both physically and mentally. Just wanted that extra support on my neck! I also purchased a therapeutic memory foam pillow which has helped a lot. Had it about 3 years now ... about time for a new one. Hope our input has helped you, Reidsmsm!

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • I'm almost (not quite) 5 years post-op for a single level ACDF with plate and screws. No collar for me and it was no problem.
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