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4 Days Post op C5-C7 ACDF questions?

Rclark23RRclark23 Posts: 3
edited 03/19/2013 - 4:13 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well, new to the forum. Great stuff here. I have a couple of questions for the veterans out there.

1. Some of the pain in my left arm is still there at times, normal?
2. I'm in a soft collar as. Reminder tone careful, is that really necessary?
3. Is it safe to sleep on my side?
4. Is it normal to return to desk job in a week or so ? I feel like I can.

Any comments welcome. Great folks here. I do have hardware.


Randy in Raleigh NC


  • FrancineSFFFrancineSF Posts: 318
    edited 03/19/2013 - 3:14 PM
    Hi there, Randy:

    Hi and welcome to this forum.

    Have you spoken with your surgeon about any of these questions you are asking? I am amazed that a surgeon would not tell a patient that they can or should not return to work for X-period of time after surgery.

    I guess the question I have is this - are you on any pain meds? If so, and if you drive to your job, then you probably shouldn't be driving while drugged up.

    Was the pain in your arm there before the surgery? I was told that if there is pain prior to surgery, and it is the same pain you are experiencing after surgery, that it can take a while for the nerves to repair themselves - up to about a year. If it's new pain, most likely some nerves got disrupted during surgery, they will likely settle down after a while, but you might want to let your surgeon know.

    I am not sure what you are asking about your soft collar. If you're asking if wearing the collar is necessary - YES! Your surgeon felt it was necessary for you to be in it, so don't mess around with not wearing it. One trip and fall, one sudden movement to reach for something falling or a jerk of the neck during these first few/several weeks out of surgery can become a setback.

    Not everyone wears a collar and I had to wear a hard collar -for 3 months!

    Sleeping on your side - what did your surgeon say? Did he give you a post-op handout? Most do. I know many sleep on their side with a lot of pillows to make sure their neck is straight.

    I am amazed your surgeon didn't discuss these things with you - or, are you just comparing what your surgeon said to what we real life post-op patients have to say? :)

    My attitude is - you get one shot to get this right. Let your body heal. Some people go right back to work and find that they over-estimated things and that they get tired very quickly at work. Otherwise do fine.

    Let us know more!

    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    1. Some of the pain in my left arm is still there at times, normal?
    What is normal?? I have had 5 neck surgeries - I still have some of the pain and numbness I had before my first surgery over 7 years ago.

    2. I'm in a soft collar as. Reminder tone careful, is that really necessary?
    I don't understand the ?? - I still wear my neck warmer on occasion.

    3. Is it safe to sleep on my side?
    As long as its not OUTside!

    4. Is it normal to return to desk job in a week or so ? I feel like I can.
    Went back to work 12 days after my first surgery. Non-union and additional surgery at 16 months later. SO - not knowing what your having done - I'll say as with all the above also - ask your surgeon for what is appropriate in your case. He knows ALL your details and suggested plans of action.

    Welcome to the Forums!


    Spine-health Moderator
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