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Neckies - How long did you wear collar post ACDF??



  • I had 4 level PCDF. C3 to C7. After 3 months had to wean off. Had to keep on I. Shower and everything. After showering just rotated pads. Was no problem since I was scared to death and listened.
  • Pamela9PPamela9 WashingtonPosts: 44
    Reading these posts has not helped at all. Have not had my 4 level ACDF yet, and am very concerned that I am going to freak out. I can not tolerate a necklace, scarf, or god forbid, a turtle-neck top now, due to increased pain and a very claustrophobic feeling.. Are there tests that be done before surgery to know what kind of collar will be needed?
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  • On August 4, I had ACDF on 4 levels, C3 - C6. I am almost 4 weeks post op. After my first post op visit with the surgeon after 2.5 weeks, the NS told me I no longer had to wear the collar and I could drive. He also advised range of motion exercises. Driving is fine in terms of being able to look over my left shoulder. What bothers me about driving in the vibration on the spine even sitting on a pillow. I bought a soft collar today to see if it would help with sleeping. I just can't get comfortable. I have a neck pillow and a wedge but most of the time I feel better laying flat on no pillow. So, I'll try the soft collar and see if I can get more comfortable. I've read all of the posts with people staying in the collar for long periods of time. There apparently in no standard time length among surgeons.
  • The collar is for your protection. Some of the collar selection is based on surgical difficulty, surgeon's preference, and the amount of support you need post op.
    Surgeon's vary their time frame requirements post op, so you really want to discuss that with your particular surgeon before undergoing surgery.
  • I just had an appointment with my NS and he said that he no longer requires his patients to wear a collar. He said the collar is strictly for comfort and is optional. Right now I am considering surgery. I am a surgical candidate, but don't want to rush into it. I had an ACDF c5/6 in 1999, and now it looks like I need it for c6/7.
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  • I had close to zero after care and never had a collar, has anterior cervical discotomy of c5/6 with bone graph and plate and screws. Worst was when I got into the car for the first time, and had the giggling going on...OMG the pain. I am not sure if the collar would have stabilized it better but really check out your doc's history of after care is all I have to say...(Not bitter here :) ) I started driving at week 3...just cause I had to, and had weened myself off the hard meds on my own...everything was brutal.
  • I wore that sucker 24/7 ( not in shower-my only escape) for 12 weeks post C 4/5 fusion. So uncomfortable but necessary so fusion takes. Biggest challenge eating out in it-plus the looks you get! I followed my Dr's instructions to the letter. Fortunatley I did not have small kids and had friends to help with errands. I stayed hone, watched lots of Netflix and healed. It's hard but just try to be patient.
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