I had my c5 thru c7 fused 11 days ago. I didn't want to question my doc because he's one of he best out there and was the designer of the plate put in my neck so I suppose he knows a little about what's going on and when it's safe to do what. I'm collarless as of today and allowed to begin driving. I went back to work 2 days post-op but I write software and was able to work from home. Still having some small pains here and there but I guess this plate with six screws has everything secured in place. I haven't read all the posts but I thought to share one thing with everyone that I'm doing as per doctor recommendation. I'm wearing this electronic device that shoots electronic impulses in my neck (you can't feel them) that supposedly promots healing. He believes if I wear this as much as I have been doing (24x7) that the fusion would be complete as soon as 8 weeks post-op, my next appointment. They tell me insurance covers this thing but unfortunately as per web site rules don't believe we can list names of companies or products.
I'll admit I'm excited that I'm more mobile and from other posters on the forum I was expecting to be in a collar for at least six weeks. I realize that everyone is different and therefore heal different. I guess different doctors have different levels of caution(???). Of course I'm still taking it easy. I'm allowed to lift up to 25 lbs but won't be lifting soon. I was given the green light for the elliptical machine and plan to give it whirl today.