I am 3 1/2 weeks post op. As I was given no collar to wear, other than a throat that is still swollen and weakness in my upper arms, I feel so good I would not have known I had surgery at all. I can breathe just fine and eat just fine - although I have lost 6 pounds since surgery - but there is still a huge lump in my throat that I presume is swelling. I now know what people mean when they claim they can "feel" their plate and screws but I think (hope?) it is just swelling. I would very much appreciate hearing from others regarding when their swelling finally went away. I had a 3 level C4-7 acdf with titanium plates and screws and cadaver bone.