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Is a recliner needed for sleeping post ACDF?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
My husband is having a 3 level done next week. He will be in a hard collar for 4 months. We just realized---how is he going to sleep? Do we need to run out and buy a recliner?

Linda MI


  • Hmmm, good question. I have a recliner and have been using it most of the time but I've only been out of the hospital since Saturday. LOL. I have found it the most comfortable place so far in the house. I don't have a high bed board and piles of pillows don't seem to work for me.

    Will he have to sleep in the hard collar? I called my doctor the day I got out since I didn't remember anyone telling me that I needed to have it on 24/7. He said as long as I'm not moving around I can go without it but should try to stay in one position when seated.

    Also, make sure your husband does some sort of leg exercise while he's lying there so blood clots don't have a chance to form. While I was in the hospital last week, I had to wear these great looking socks that helped with that and the pump would pump them up every so often to help keep the blood circulating.

    I had C5-6 and C6-7 with hardware done last Wednesday.

  • Yep, bendy straws are my best friend this week. :-) I still feel when I'm trying to sleep that I'm going to choke because of some of the lingering pain in my throat. The doctor said that's probably the worst part of the whole operation.
  • Everyone is different. We own one and I thought that I would give it a try, I ended up just crying because I wanted my bed and sleep. For me I ended up using about 10 pillows and making a big U shape a placed me in the middle. Finally sleep came, not the best but sleep. I am a side sleeper and it has taken me 14 months to be able to sleep on side again. So I wish him luck. Let us know how he does and any other questions please feel free to post as there is some great people and tons of info here. Best of luck.
  • See if your insurance will cover a hospital bed rental, mine didn't but we went ahead and paid the $$'s so that I had a place to sleep, and not take up the recliners.
  • I had ACDF for 2 levels in January and was not able to sleep in our recliner at all. We got a foam wedge pillow that I used in my own bed from the first night out of the hospital until about a month later when I went back to my regular pillows. The wedge pillow worked great for me, but the recliner hurt my neck (could just have been the way our chair is made, but it was really uncomfortable for me). Good luck with whatever you decide will work best for your husband. I think the foam wedge pillows can be purchased online or at a medical supply store and they are very inexpensive. ~kathleen
  • 33 days i have slept in a recliner now.
    My neck feels fine ( post acdf ) but now my tushie is sore.
    i absolutely cannot lay in the bed at all.. I miss my bed so much.
    I cant roll over... or stretch out..
    better than nothing though,.. and hopefully will be out of this aspen collar soon.
    4 weeks tomorrow.
  • hello, i slept in my recliner for 2 months after my surgery, everyone is different,it puts less pressure on your spine. i wish you and your husband luck- if you need to ask anything please do, most of us on this site have been there..
  • I am a side sleeper too so this will be interesting. I see my surgeon this next Monday the 21st. I was referred by my DO. MRI's show I have ddd, impinged nerves, canal narrowing, bulging discs c3 to c7. My DO said I would need major surgery with hardware. I have no idea if it will involve all of the levels above.

    I had not thought of a recliner. We don't have one. I think I'll probably end up doing something like you are doing with pillows on our bed.

    Ken GreyEagle
  • I choose the recliner because of the miami j brace a lot less pressure on my neck.
  • I don't sleep in my recliner, never really slept well anywhere but in a bed. However, the biggest problem with my recovery at first was lying down and getting up from bed for almost a week.

    Even today, I have some troubles getting comfortable when trying to sleep... Kind of use to staying up late now, sleeping in, than napping. My wife gets up early for work, so I try to let her sleep, then I can sleep without bothering her if/when I move from my back to each side, and so on.

    I have had no problem sleeping, once I fall a sleep, I sleep for a good amount of time. I love to sleep on my side, kind of almost on my stomach... That ain't happening right now, but I can sleep on my side for the most part now, never liked sleeping on my back for too long of an amount of time.

    I'm in a soft-collar 24/7, I'd hate to have a hard-collar on for sleeping!!!

    Before I get off topic, or bore you... I live in my recliner, it also is a rocker, with heat, the works, great and comfortable. My couch and love seat have end recliners, but a love my recliner, and it was just great for getting up.

    My recovery has been just great from c6-c7 ACDF. I did have some minor muscle discomfort recently, think from the collar, but that has been gone for two days now, and that was only a few days, and not all that bad.

    Best of luck, hope everything works out great!
  • I slept in the recliner the first week or so (although I read somewhere that recliners put you in a bad position for proper alighment after acdf??). Now I sleep in my bed with a hard collar on, with no pillows. That gets a little uncomfortable after a couple hours, but I still get a good amount of sleep in.
    I am 14 days post-op acdf C4-C5 with instrumentation.

    I totally agree with bubblegum's "need to have" list!:
    Bendy straws
    throat losengers
    Cold foods like popsicles,

    I am still eating alot of soft foods because of difficulty swallowing. Pills also seem to go down easier in halves and with soda (vs. water)

    Good luck!
  • after my surgery i came home and sat in my recliner cause i thought it would be a great place to relax and after a couple of minutes i got up and went into my bedroom and layed flat on my bed and fell asleep. I found that the reclining position was bad for my neck i needed to be flat. never slept in the recliner and even in the hospital i had the bed flat most of the time.putting it up hurt my neck.

    Good luck with the surgery
  • Recliners are great even if you don't sleep in it at night it was my spot during the day fro at least a month!! I vote yes to recliner if you can afford one.! Good luck to him
  • I splept in a recliner post op. because I really was more comfortable there preo=op. I apolize my computer is not letting me type or correct rather my typo's.

    Shera I am concerned! I know that it is very difficult to swallow pills, I certainly had very big ones but some are not meant to be broken please chech with your pharmarcy. Extended release and others. Just trying to make sure you stay safe!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    After my ACDF surgeries, I slept in a separate bed that had a wedge in it so basically it was like sleeping in a hospital bed. I found that more comfortable than sleeping in a recliner.
    But whatever is more comfortable for you , go for it
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ambien has been my best friend during this whole process. I)

    I've had the best sleep the past couple of weeks.
  • I am having surgery on Dec. 10th and I have a recliner but I need it to be in the bedroom because our home is way too busy, since I work as a nurse aide at a retirement home I am thinking maybe I can borrow these cushions they have, shaped like a triangle for those who need to sit upright in a bed setting. That might work!
    ;) CindySue
  • I am due surgery sometime soon, am on waiting list. Getting C5/6 ACDF with cage.

    I am stocking up on goodies due to all the good advisce here, have straws and ice lollies in and ready. The OT gave me a rise recliner as I also have osteoarthritis which will require ongoing care. Glad I did not have to buy one as I have no money having not worked for the last 12 months.
  • My recliner was my bed for about 2 weeks. My husband and I both have them. Mine is smaller and when it was time for me to go to bed I kicked him out of his. I had a level 1 c5 c6 and it was just easier for me to get up and down. If you can afford it well worth it.
  • Another recliner sleeper - it's been three weeks. I bought a wedge pillow for the bed, but I couldn't get comfy. (anyone need a wedge? O:) ) I'm not sleeping through the night yet, late night/early morning TV has become my friend. I'm not concerned right now, since I won't be returning to work until January.
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