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6-week post opt...

JerseyJJersey Posts: 53
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone, just wanted to let everyone know that I had my 6-week post opt check-up today... I was able to remove my soft-collar FINALLY, as after reviewing my x-rays, I was informed I was fusing and that everything was holding/staying in place by my flexion and extension films!

My neurosurgeon said that I could go back to work after labor day, and I am going to see him again on 8/21. Of course, after seeing him, I was offered my previous job with a former employer.

I would have posted more before, but I really don't like the new forum format - I don't know what threads I posted in and lose track, as the old forum always let you know what you posted in. Anyway, tonight being the first time without my collar, I am feeling great!

While we are all different, I am so glad that my recovery has been almost perfect so far, just that minor muscle issue for not even a week, but that went anyway before I even got to see the doctor for it.

Basically no pain meds for like weeks, and only maybe two or three in almost the last month.

I am however starting to notice that my throat does sometimes feel different, not bad, but you can tell with the hardware that your throat is different now. I'm learning how to live with it, only drinking something really fast gives me a quick weird feeling, but that's going away, or I am subconsciously learning how to drink differently.

For those of you in collars, while I was lucky to only have a soft-collar on for these past six-weeks... It was so great to sleep without it this afternoon when I took my nap - I am so looking forward to going to bed tonight!

Ok, just wanted to post an update, as I said I was going to keep everyone informed, and I will... I just hope when I go back to work everything is still ok.

Of course, now that I have been offered my previous job back, unlike my current job, I would be doing less demanding and physical work, so I think that might be better for in the long, and more money too, but no chance of ever transferring out of New Jersey like with possibly doing with my current job, but I think its best in the long to keep my chances of any further issues lower until the time cames to think about moving, if that ever comes with this sucky housing market!

Sorry to blab on and on, just really happy today, thats all.


  • Jersey, great news! Happy for you. You only wore a soft collar from the beginning? I'm having a ACDF on August 6 and am scared to death! I hope I have as much luck as you. My surgeon is telling me a hard collar for 3 months, but I think that's their line for everyone. Yes, everyone is different. Was the surgery itself a really bad experience for you? What type did you have? I dread the collar. I live in S. Fla., so it's HOT, HOT, HOT even w/o a collar! I'm thinking how I can bend down to pet and feed my dog and stuff like that. Is the soft collar a lot more comfortable to wear? Sleep well! I'm new to this site so I've put messages in places and I can't find them! I hope this ends up in the right place!
  • Hi Jersey,
    What great news!!! It is so cool when the healing process goes like it is supposed to. I didn't have a collar after my surgery, I am two weeks out today, and I actually wish I did. My doc felt my neck muscles were strong enough but there were days I wish I could have rested them. My healing is going as well as yours. I went back to work this past Monday against his orders but all is fine. I am at a desk or walking mostly so it isn't that difficult.

    Now you can enjoy the rest of the summer and get back to living life without so much pain. That is the great part.
  • Elinor,

    About the collar... Hard, wrong fitting collar when I woke up, but lucky for me I was able to get into the soft-collar once I was up in my ICU room (after another doctor tried to cut some foam away). Ever since though, soft-collar 24/7 unless showering after the that first week.

    Yes, Florida is hot, but New Jersey had a heat wave start the day of my surgery, and again last week. I swear its more humid up here sometimes - LOL

    I had ACDF w/ hardware on c6-c7 back on June 9th.

    My neurosurgeon said the collar until 8/5, but I was seen earlier because my neck felt tight and bothersome where it never had a few weeks after, so he had me come in, but it was gone by the time I went to see him.

    My on-call nurse through my insurance/employer said it was probably the collar, and how it was holding my neck.

    I know that I lucked out and ditched the collar a little earlier... He said while my fusion was taken, and everything was holding, no need for the collar, so hopefully the same with you after you get your first x-rays!?

    I have four dogs, my new job now that I am not working, feeding/caring for them (LOL), while in a soft-collar, I was however feeding them the within two-days of being home, so I'm sure you do just fine.

    Best of luck with your surgery, hope all goes well with you, keep us posted, hopefully I find you... It is easy to find threads you started, but NOT a thread you just replied in sometimes, I miss those little "dots"!


    Wow! Great news you're doing so great as well!!! I remember your posts before hand, and glad your back to work already. I manage a busy restaurant, and I am expected to do whatever, whenever if needed, so I am glad to be resting up.

    I'm really glad my old employer has put an offer to get me back... I will just manager, a District Manager for fast food, I just tell them what to do, track the numbers and stuff, going to be way better on me physically, plus my days will be broken up by a little driving between stores instead of just non-stop work. Of course, all my stores are going to be within 20-miles of my home, so I still get to keep my short commutes!

    I hear it can take up to one-year to fully heal/fuse, or whatever, so I think this is God's why of just trying to help me out some.

    It is GREAT to feel normal again! While not doing a whole lot right now, I still feel so much better than before, and every day only gets better.

    P.S. - I slept better then ever last night... I was scared I'd move my neck wrong at first, but I didn't, and it was easier to get comfortable and fall asleep.
  • Elinor,

    Dave squats to feed the dogs, get the newspaper etc. You've got a week to get your legs ready!!

    He is fixing himself breakfast. I am telling you---he is doing really great. If he didn't have that collar, it would seem like he didn't have the surgery. He only has pain when he is lying down. Probably from the collar.

    Linda MI
  • I am so grateful for your posts! It's reassuring to hear such success stories. I thank you, and God bless you!--Mazy
  • So how was surgery? Please tell me how you took care of your animals after surgery? I am having sugery on the 19 and my concern is taking care of my dog and cats and being hot and sweaty wearing the collar in MN
  • Jersey,
    If i were you I would do what make you happy. I am glad you are getting along better now that the collar is gone.

    I had my surgery on 6/20 was in the hosp 2days and went home with nothing. I never had to wear a collar. I have not had any major pain. I didn't have a bone graft. just the hardware. I wonder why some have to wear collars and some don't. I have been really blessed with not having much pain. Some things are coming back but it seems so slow. Is there anyone who is like maybe 6 months post? I lost the ablity to walk and to drive. I can walk without a cane for the most part, (even tho it looks funny) if I have to walk any distance then I feel better with a cane. How long does it take to really get back to normal. My NS say it could take up to a year and I might not get it all back. Will the tingling and burning ever go away or is this perment? :/
  • Yep...I wear the Apsen Cervical collar guard since my surgery on 18 july till now. They gave a another set of the sponge to change them. I get use to it already. They help to keep the neck and head upright and straight. The collar job is to restrict the movement of the neck so that the fusion and whatever that need to set in with ingrowth of the bone can heal over time. That's the job of the cervical collar. Now, our job is to use the damm thing so that we get alright else.....you never know what you will end up into.

    Cheers !
  • I'm going back to work on September 3rd... Started short drives this weekend, and don't have to see the neuro again for six-months.

    Now, being out of work since June 4th, and having a hard time falling a sleep right after the surgery, I can't seem to get tired until 3am'ish... Just got a prescription to help me fall a sleep - I never really had a problem sleeping after the first week or so, just falling a sleep was the problem.

    Well, now comes the part about getting back into a some what normal sleeping schedule, I work shift work, but I can't stay up until 3AM all the time!

    Anyone ever realize how many infomercials there on at night - LMAO

    I'll still keep checking back, and hopefully going back to work will go pretty smoothly... I will be switching jobs soon, so hopefully a less physical job will help out as well.

    Hope everyone gets the relief they need... My neuro told me today, well, yesterday (LOL) now that it would be 3-months after my surgery before all the stiffness in my neck would be gone.
  • On being "cut loose" LOL....Just keep on taking it easy and try not to over do anything. Infomercials oh yeah dang that got some cool stuff if any of it actually works..LOLPlease do keep checking in with us all and please continue to update us on your progress!!! By the way y'all need to hurry up and get to Texas!!! >:D<
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