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Collars after Cervical surgery .... Yes or No

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Comments

  • It has been 9 days post op, I have to wear soft cervical collar all the time (not in shower) haha and wear a TCS stimulator 4 hours a day to help improve fusion rate, which this gives me headaches and makes my shoulder hurt. Anyone else?
    Also I'm still having a hard time swalloning anything, I also feel like I get an air bubble in my chest when I take my medicine or eat, or even drink. Is anyone esle having these problems?
    I don't beleive it's from the tubs down my thoart because I have never had a problem swalloning tubes Before, to many knee sugeries.
  • I had a single fusion on my C5/C6 with hardware. No collar for me. The hardest part so far was when I arrived at home. There was not one place or position which I could get comfortable. I managed to sleep on the couch with the wedge pillow and several other pillows to support my neck.

    Hardhead, I can't swallow anything either. I'm aspirating everything that goes down. I also get the air bubbles too. I'm 3 days post op.
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  • You may have had tubes down your throat before but not at the same time that you had surgery on your neck. They move a lot of stuff around when they do this surgery and that plus the tube is most likely what causes the swallowing problems. Almost everyone who has ACDF surgery ends up with trouble swallowing for a while. I am almost 6 months post op and only last month began swallowing big pills, before that it was not possible. Try eating soft or wet food for a while like soup, jello, pudding etc. I found I could eat things like sandwiches soon after surgery if I ate stuff like tunafish with mayo and then soaked the sandwich in soup. Sounds a little gross but it worked. I am still wearing a bone growth stimulator 4 hours a day, it does not give me headaches but I am SO TIRED of it. HOwever at my last check up Jan 5th, the xray showed my fusion at about 80% so I'll keep wearing it.
    Good luck to you on recovery and be patient it does take time.
    LJ
    Hardhead said:
    It has been 9 days post op, I have to wear soft cervical collar all the time (not in shower) haha and wear a TCS stimulator 4 hours a day to help improve fusion rate, which this gives me headaches and makes my shoulder hurt. Anyone else?
    Also I'm still having a hard time swalloning anything, I also feel like I get an air bubble in my chest when I take my medicine or eat, or even drink. Is anyone esle having these problems?
    I don't beleive it's from the tubs down my thoart because I have never had a problem swalloning tubes Before, to many knee sugeries.
  • Welcome to spine health. The swallowing problem will clear up in the future, took me a few months to be 'normal' with swallowing after my first surgery. The bone stimulator may take some time to get comfortable with, I had one after my second surgery(7 months, 4hrs a day), but they didn't give it to me until a month after surgery. Perhaps you can find a comfortable position to take the weight off your neck muscles, just a ideal. Things do get better with time.

    Mark
  • Doctor #1 did no collar and a one level ACDF.
    Now Doctor #2 is alolt more strict even though he will be using a plate. He insists on a hard collar for 3 months and no driving until the collar comes off. At least I have the hard collar from my last surgery so I won't have to pay for one. :)
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  • I wore a collar while up moving and sleeping before surgery(sleeping with collar helped my arm and hand from doing there thing) I'm about 4 weeks out of surgery (feb4th)Doc says no more collar after 6 to 8 weeks
    Cant imagine not having my collar I have three diff. kinds so I get a change once in a while and at times i will give my self a break besides showers and go brace naked, but it doesn't take long and my neck is getting sore and heavy.
    Patsy
  • sandy58ssandy58 Milwaukee Posts: 2


    mtoxey said:
    I had ACDF C5-7 on June 5. I had no collar, not even for the ride home. I felt my head was going to roll off my shoulders. about 3 weeks ago I started hurting again and having the numbness and tingling. The numbness/tingling never went all the way away, but was very slight and infrequent. Now, I'm in pain and tingling 24/7 again. It is bothering my thumb and forefinger more instead of my last three fingers this time.

    I think that not wearing a collar may have lead me to be messed up. Also the traveling probably didn't help. I think the dr just let me do too much at once.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Hugs!
    Mitchelle
    Hi Mitchelle,
    I am sorry to hear that you are having problems again. You did not mention your fusion. Before the surgeon released you to travel did he check to see that your neck had started to fuse? I also was sent home without a collar and it has really concerned me. My surgeon says that nothing is going to move and the hardware holds it all in place. Personally I would suggest that these doctors send us home in a collar at least for the car ride which I found very painful. They could then tell us we don't have to wear a collar at home but allow us to decide if we wanted to wear one in the car. It seems all one way or the other (collars or none) and not much in between. I keep looking for medical research on the whole collar/no collar issue but I haven't found any studies or anything.

    I hope that you will be feeling better soon and not need additional surgery,
    LJ

  • sandy58ssandy58 Milwaukee Posts: 2
    Hi, I just had a posterior laminoplasty c4-c7. I'm almost a week out now. I went home with a hard aspen collar that is driving me crazy. I've been sleeping on a recliner but still can't really get comfortable with the collar up against my incision. I was wondering how others were dealing with this. I actually didn't even know  I had neck issues. I started losing my balance and my hips were bothering me so I went to see an Ortho doctor that I knew and after doing X-rays and an exam that revealed weakness in my upper and lower extremities as well as little to no reflex activity he sent me straight to the neuro surgeon. He ran various tests and determined in order to preserve the strength I had left I needed surgery as soon as possible. Crazy I thought. What did my legs have to do with my neck. Post op I woke up for the first time in over a year with no headache, no shooting pains down my legs and less achiness all around. My neck, shoulders, and arms are killing me but even after a few days that has gotten better. I did my homework and got more than one opinion. I researched my surgeon and found the best. I already have a four level lumbar fusion so this wasn't my first rodeo. I've developed arachnoidis from that surgery so I will always have pain but it will always be better then the alternative. The best advice I can give anyone is to do your homework. Don't settle for what one doctor says. Get other opinions. Remember this is your life not theirs. And especially don't always listen to family or friends. Their experience may be totally different then yours. Good luck. 
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    hello sandi58

    this is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so i am closing it.

    you can search for articles on this subject or i suggest you create a new discussion

    please click on this link for useful information

    welcome to spine-health

    Liz, 

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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