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ACDF c6-7 questions about return to work and soft collar

BailyBBaily Posts: 1
edited 02/09/2014 - 10:59 AM in Recovering from Surgery
hello, thank you all for your forums and posts! I have been lurking on here for several weeks and have been able to find many answers by reading other posts. Thank you!

A short history, I had a bulging disk on an MRI in Nov 13, PT for 8 weeks with traction, massage and exercise, some realief from PT, but lingering neck pain that caused loss of quality of life. Once I stopped the PT most of my pain went away in my shoulders. I think the PT was causing muscle pain as I am not a physically fit person, and was doing more band and weight exercise and using muscles not often used.

Neuro surgeon suggested surgery. I had the ACDF single level 10 days ago. Once in there, he found the disk had actually herniated and he removed several fragments on the nerves.

All my arm pain is gone! I stayed on the pain meds for 8 days, 24/7 scared of pain... and I had none. Now, I am down to as needed on the percs and doing ok.

I was wearing my soft collar most of the day until a couple days ago. Not at all while sleeping. As many on here, i did not seem to get much direction from by surgeon on recovery and said only real restriction was no driving until 2 week follow up, no lifting more than 10 pounds and take the meds.

So, I have read to avoid using the soft collar as I could become dependent... I think I have. I have annoying aching at the back of my neck (kinda like I was looking down too long), but it is relieved with the collar. Is it ok to wear it?

Also, I work 6 hours a day at a desk job, low stress, just constant sitting. How long have others stayed out of work? Surgeon will send me back whenever I want... but is 2 weeks too soon? I feel great, but do get exhausted easily. I am going to start walking next week. (I am not a physically active person other than keeping up with my 5 and 7 year old boys).
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