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Cervical spine fracture of C1 and C2 and T2 through T4 crushed

I had a motor vehicle accident on 3 December 2012, The accident was caused by a diabetic hypoglycemic episode. I flipped my vehicle over 4 times and hit a tree. Hate to use the term but it was "near fatal". I am blessed to have survived. I spent a few weeks at UNC hospital and received incredible care. On December 5th I woke up with a halo on and kept it on for 100 days. The halo had challenges but I was strong when my accident occured so I did as well as possible. The CT last Thursday showed that I was healed up enough to remove the halo . I had been told I would miss it and I did not believe it. The first night in my cervical collar I wish I had the halo back. I don't like anything tight around my neck at all. I don't like turtleneck sweaters. Does anyone have any helpful ideas about sleeping with this collar in place. I am instructed to wear if for about 5 weeks, 24 hours a day. I know that in order to have the best healing I need to follow those instructions so I will be doing that. My thorasic spine also has T2 through T4 crushed, so my upper shoulders are painful too. The halo kept me more restrained but now that I can move my arms I realize how many mucles I have to build back up. I had some facial fractures as well, so I was unable to eat a normal diet for many weeks and have lost 40 pounds since my accident. I have been out of work for a long period of time and will have to return soon. I would appreciate some advice about getting a good nights rest if anyone wearing a Miami J collar can provide me any guideance. Look forward to hearing about your experiences and what was helpful to ease the neck stresses.


  • I'm sorry that I don't have any advice for your situation, but I noticed that no one has replied to your post yet and I wanted to make sure you know that you are welcomed here. :)

    You may want to ask about tips for wearing a Miami J collar in the Recovering From Surgery or Back/Neck Surgery forums. Those forums are much more heavily trafficked than this forum.

    In the meantime, I pray that you get some good sleep, your muscles respond well to your physical therapy, and you have a smooth transition back to work. Be healed!

    God bless you!

  • I hope that you have had some more help since you joined the forums. I didn't have a halo, but I did have to wear a collar. Have you thought about sleeping in a recliner? I also bought several different travel pillows (i.e., stuffing filled, pellet filled, foam filled). Those seemed to help too. I also had lots of pain in my shoulders and physical therapy and muscle relaxants helped with that. You can also use a head a shoulder heating pad (search them on the web).

    I hope that at least one of these suggestions will help you!
    edited 04/12/2013 - 2:43 AM
    I broke my neck in 2009, wore a Miami collar for 18 weeks, they did not have an adult halo at the time.
    I broke the c1 bone in 5 places, and took off the horns of c2, pain killers sent me loco, was in a brain hospital for 5 weeks due to hallucinations, === BUT, I found that if I laid on my back, with a slim pillow, I could sleep, and not in to much pain.
    Had my neck fused in 2010, constant pain very stiff neck, sore shoulders, But I can drive, put swivel cushion in car, to look left and right, I am and older guy now over 70, but alive,,

    I hope this gives some help, or ideas, good luck to you my friend.
  • Hi, that's quite an accident you had there. I haven't had sugery on my C-1 and C-2 I'm hoping to avoid it by doing NUCCA. Since starting NUCCA my doc advised me to sleep in a recliner and that's what I've been doing for the past 5 months. It takes some getting used to. I don't use a collar but I do have a soft stuff animal I used to support my neck at night. I'm sure eventually I'll be back in bed but I gotta tell you thank goodness for my recliner.
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