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2wks post cervical surgery 3/4 and 6/7

kan315kkan315 Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Recovering from Surgery
i am now 2 wks out from cervical fusion of 3/4 and 6/7
no complications this time around and i have to say my hands are numb-free and i feel really great
i am also 3 yrs out of a back fusion of the L4/5 S1 as well
and while i still have issues w/ that part of my back i think i am finally making progress
my question is this
if anyone else had 2 levels done at the same time how long do you wear the soft collar for?
also what kind of PT have you also done?
PT for my back just sucked! since i had had 3 prior surgeries in the same spot i have no muscle between the scare and the hardware which made PT painful
saw my surgeron on weds and he told me 3-6 months for the collar and PT next month
i can have driving privalges back if i stay local but i don't see how since i have a collar on and i cannot turn my head...we live in a small town so major roads is not an issue
just wondering how someone else came thru this kind of surgery any news is greatly appreciated


  • I had a 2 level ACDF on April 9 so I am just over 6 weeks out. As far as the collar goes, I wasn't given the option for a soft collar, my surgeon has you wear a hard collar for 3 months. He has not ordered PT at this point yet...not sure if he will.
    And as far as driving, at my 2 week check up he cleared me for driving. I wondered about that too because of the hard collar. I didn't drive until about a week ago, its a little difficult with the collar, but certainly not impossible. I only go short distances if I have to.
    Hope some of this helped.
    Best wishes in your recovery :)

    ACDF C4-5/5-6 - 04-09-2012
  • i was all egar to get in the car today to drive but chickened out! my drs. visit yesterday takes alot out of me so there's always tomorrow.
    i had a turtle shell after my last back surgery and i wore that for 3 months and then alays kept it in the truck just incase i needed it...i just felt safer w/ it on.
    as far as PT goes i know he wants me to build up my upper body and the lower parts but...not the neck and as i stated b/f still have back issues.
    my right legs just has so much nerve damage that i have not done much in 3 yrs.
    the collar is the worst of the whol thing i don't even like turtleneck shirts! but i do feel safe w/ it on..my surgery so far seems successful, i do find that my arms hurt i am assumming that too is from lack of use...my spine was very compressed and i guess now that the blood and all the rest of what one needs to function is now working it will take awhile for the rest of it to come backi have no patience when it comes to having things done for me!
    time will tell...thanks for the info...glad you are doing better please keep me in the loop on how you are doing since we are only 2wks apart in recovery
  • So you've had lower back surgery as well....which recovery is worse?
    I am also still dealing with some arm/shoulder issues. I keep hoping with each day it gets better....(fingers crossed). I think I'm somewhat of an impatient patient....lol
    I don't like the collar much either, but like you I feel safe with it on. Plus its starting to get warm here. At my 6 week checkup on Tuesday, he told me I can start taking it off for sleeping, I haven't yet....too nervous yet I guess.
    ACDF C4-5/5-6 - 04-09-2012
  • taking the collar off for sleeping sounds good but sary too! i think the neck surgery is harder then the back surgery for recovery...
    i am a side sleeper and the collar does make it hard to get comfy i woke up this morning and i was on my side...i was a wreck thinking i broke something!
    my back surgery turning into a nghtmare i ended up w/ MRSA and had 3 trips back to the hospital it put my recovery back almost 6 months but the physical part of the back surgery just seemed easier to deal w/at that time
    the neck is crazy! since i don't have good balance and i have to pivot to turn i keep lossong my balance
    i did drive today...lets just say i will leave the driving to my husband no road trips for me
    it is getting hot here too humd for the weekend and we don't have ac...don't see it being a great summer
    take care talk soon
  • Im 3 weeks post-op and Im required to wear my Aspen collar (hard) for at least 8 weeks, 24-7. Can only take it off for showers. At 8 weeks the doc evaluates if I can go over to soft collar or no collar I guess. Or continue the Aspen. I have to say I dont mind it. It feels safe and im a bobble head without it. Only the heat and humidity is bothering me now. It tends to get itchy...

    Not cleared for driving yet, but not an issue since I dont feel like doing it. Heck, dont even like to go in a car, too scared of accidents and bumps and idiots on the road.

    I still sleep sitting in my recliner, since laying down is too painful. I can lay down on my side now, somewhat pain free, but then I fall asleep and wake up in stupid pain, both neck, shoulders and arms. All the pre-op symptoms back!
    I sleep on my side so not ready yet - hope I will be soon...
    On asking him, my doc told me 10 days post-op that I could lay down and sleep, from a safety point of view. I cannot "damage" anything by doing it, hardware is solid.
    However, that pain will set my recovery back. Old symptoms coming back scares tje crappus out of me!

    No word on when and if PT, but not before 8 weeks post op at least. Have heard that fusion patients need a very specific type of PT to benefit, so make sure you have a Therapist who is trained to work with fusion patients.
    My first PT (before surgery, but with my arthritis and 2 blown discs) was way too harsh. She bended and pushed and ignored pain. I was to inexperienced to stop her but eventually walked away. My second one was great, but then i ended up having surgery.
    We Spineys need gentle PT, a lot of muscle spasm release and strengthening exercises.
    Key word is gentle and no heavy stuff.

    Karen, glad to hear about your progress! It gives me hope and I just got to try to stay patient (sooo hard).

    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • i am very glad that i have a soft collar and w/ th heat this memorial day weekend i have opted to stay in the house..driving was NOT easy or comfortable so i will leave the driving to the hubby
    when i did PT for all my back surgeries i had a great pt'er very well trained but towards the end he was frustrated w/ me' whi knew back then that i also had neck issues and the surgical site gets painful even after 3 yrs post-op do to the fact that there is scare tissue and then a ton of hardware there...dr. told me when PT starts it will be for upper body and lower body strength and i cannot move the neck or the back...good luck on looking that!
    i take my collar off for showers and if i am sitting really really still just to cool down...i am so afraid of the bobble-head feeling as well.
    i find the better i feel physically the more i try to do at home...then i get pain in my arms and neck hard to sit and do nothing but i am trying my best.
    good luck and please keep me in your loop on procress thanks
  • I was given the OK to drive last week, with my soft collar on. I tried a few times. I'm quitting. It makes my neck and shoulders hurt. I'm worse this week than I was last week. Back to letting everyone do everything. Plus, I don't even like riding in the car it scares me...
  • i had to do driving this weekend...took my hubby to the hospital for chest pains...he is ok but i had no way to get there and back...got him home just a few minutes ago...my pain is off the charts right now..
    i use to love to drive...was a realtor for 10yrs! i think i will just stay put for the next few weeks...feel better...and yes since the hubby did not have aheart attack he is going back to doing the house work too! there is an up side to all of this...i think
  • First of all I'm so happy that your hubby is alright.

    I'm not a good sit and do nothing person, but I want to heal and fuse more than I've ever wanted almost anything. So, you and I will sit for a bit. Hope you feel better soon.

  • I'm 3 weeks post-op, 5 level PCLF (I hope this is correct abbrev.) I was told that I could drive, etc after 3 weeks. But I have a lot of pain, still wearing Aspen collar, and have no help. I'm having a hard time just making meals. I don't know if I'm being too careful and should push myself more. I certainly don't want to mess up the surgery. Had I known it would be this bad, I'd have arranged for help. Has anyone gone thru this recovery period without help? I don't need a caretaker, but this is rough to do alone. Friends/relatives tire of helping after first week.
  • i am just coming up on 4 wks. i cannot imagine not having help...i always think i can do it myself but this surgery make me realize that there are times you do need help.
    as far as meals go forget the big "3 things on a plate" dinners keep it simple sandwhiches, frozen stuff soft stuff ( my personal favorite right now is ice cream!)
    maybe you just think they are tired of helping...try a little humor...tell someone or anyone that "gee, i do need a little help"..they will come...i know i told everyone i'm fine...but not as fine as i thought i was.
    the driving is killing me...i have to twist almost all the way around to see what's coming and since i also have a fused back and was told NOT to twist...it is making driving hell...
    i get that you don't need a care taker but please try to get someone in even just for an hour or so every couple of days...i still cannot lift, forget cleaning the house i am now relying on my hubby who has different ideas of how to clean and when to clean...food shopping was a mess since i have my way and he has his way but you know what? it got done...please take care...i think the same way you do should i push myself a little more or do i just do what the drs says and sit out a little more don't rush it ..please keep us in the loop as to how you are doing...take care of YOU
  • Recuperating is lonely business. It's good to hear someone else's experience. I'm much better at keeping busy. What you suggest is what I need - about an hour a day. Haven't been able to find someone for less than a half day.
    Re the shopping, I had to laugh when you talked about your husband's way of shopping. Isn't it frustrating when you don't get the right thing? I asked my neighbor to pick up a small container of yoghurt for me when she went to the market. I now have enough to bathe in. didn't know they made such large containers. But it takes no preparation.
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