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Old 12-21-2006, 02:24 PM   #1
SKZ SKZ is offline
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Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

I am going to have an ACDF at C5-C7 soon. I was supposed to actually have it today, but due to a bad blizzard in Colorado it got postoned (not sure till when). My orthopedic spine surgeon is going to do the usual plate and screws routine, but I wont have to wear a neck brace. Is that normal or should I be worried that that is odd?

 
Old 12-21-2006, 04:24 PM   #2
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

i didn't have one....same surgery.....the plate is supposed to help with the fusion and possibly eliminate the need for a brace

 
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

Can you tell me more about your surgery and recuperation, please?

 
Old 12-21-2006, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

i had the surgery june/2004 at the age of 27...c5-7...just woke up with a stiff neck and it progressed to me losing strength in my entire right arm...i was a big weightlifter so i noticed the loss right away....i had the operation probably about 3 weeks after the mri...about a month from the time i got the stiff neck.....surgery lasted about 5 1/2 hours.....was only supposed to last 2 but they said since i was somewhat muscular it took a long time to cut through the muscle?? anyways didn't need any pain meds for it wasn't bad but i got very weak...couldn't even lift my head off the pillow.....started driving about 1 1/2 weeks later even though i wasn't supposed to......i wouldn't recommend it.....all in all the pain isn't bad but my neck is stiff and my range of motion took a hit...got the strength back and i lift again but the weight is nowhere near what it used to be.....i'm not happy with the outcome because i'm so young and i'll never be the same but again if i do have pain its limited to the neck and traps and its not anything a few aleve won't help....just gotta be cautious in what you do....keep your upper body strong.....find a good pt who will stretch the hell outta ya...i'm just holding out with hopes that medicine will progress so that by the time something else goes wrong they'll be a simple non invasive fix....now if i could only get l5-s1 to stop acting up i might be a bit happier....any other ?'s just hit me up

Last edited by faubs110; 12-21-2006 at 07:00 PM.

 
Old 12-22-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

I did have an aspen brace for 6 weeks. My surgeon said he's conservative when it comes to recovery so he insists on the brace for 6 weeks. I think it helped me a lot - just aiding by prohibiting me from making the wrong moves.
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Old 12-22-2006, 09:12 PM   #6
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

I had one level done, and I didn't have to wear the brace, but I could wear it if I wanted to for comfort. If you have swelling problems, it can help keep things still so that things don't get agitated more. I found this helpful at times, or when I started to feel a bit symptomatic I would put it on and it would help relieve them, but now I'm ... oh.. a little over 5 weeks post-op now I think and I haven't needed to rely on the collar for some 3 weeks now and even when I did wear it, it wasn't all that often, but I did have some bad days here and there. I don't expect to need it anymore at all. Just take it easy and don't turn your neck all that much in the beginning is the best thing I can suggest, as well as avoid doing overhead activities or any repetitive movements with your neck. As you get better and better your body will kind of let you know what you're capable of. They even said I could drive when I was released, but I don't recommend it. I tried to do this and I became very frightened and went back home. I'd say around 3 weeks afterwards I was probably okay to drive, but this might be different for you since you are getting two levels done.

BTW, your blizzard made national news, lol I thought of you when I saw it come on the news

 
Old 12-22-2006, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

i was supposed to wear one, but doc said if it was hurting me i didnt have to . but he wanted me to wear one in the car. i didnt drive for 6 weeks. he told me to try and keep my neck as straight as possible, but i could still turn it.

 
Old 12-22-2006, 11:41 PM   #8
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

wow! I've always heard you can't drive when wearing the collar...
But yes I could still turn a bit with the collar on as well.

 
Old 12-23-2006, 05:41 PM   #9
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

It all depends on the type of collar as to what movement you have. The soft collars allow much more movement then the harder collars (such as the aspen brace I had). There was no way I could drive with that as I could not move my neck left, right, up or down.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

Mine was a hard collar

 
Old 12-24-2006, 07:29 AM   #11
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

Should I be weirded out that my surgeon doesnt think I need to wear a brace?

 
Old 12-24-2006, 11:05 AM   #12
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

Nah, I don't think so. I think every surgeon just has their own way of doing things based on experience. With my surgeon, if I had had the two levels done like yours, he would have been more conservative and had me wear the collar, probably mostly for swelling issues. If you are really concerned about it though you could always request one from either him or the nurses while you are there... like a soft of hard collar if you think it'll help if you have swelling issues. But really there is probably no way of knowing until you get to that point because everybody is different in regard to healing and so on.

If he's saying you don't need it though, you'll be happier without it probably, it can be extreamly annoying if its a hard collar but a soft collar would probably be more tolerable however.

 
Old 12-24-2006, 02:06 PM   #13
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

I had minimally invasive acd w/out fusion surgery and even my surgeon had me wear a semi-hard philadelphia collar for 3 weeks, and a soft collar for another two. no driving while I was in the phila collar...

you're having a pretty major surgery done, I would take every precaution to make sure it heals properly. a lot of people end up needing fusion again at other levels- the adjacent level theory I believe it's called. I would think that being impatient or overanxious would only increase that chance...better to be safe than sorry if you ask me.

merry xmas

bw

 
Old 12-24-2006, 05:55 PM   #14
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

Hi Skz,

I had ACDF at C5-6, my Dr. had me wear my collar anytime I was out of bed for the first week. I will admit that even though it was bulky feeling, at times my head felt like it was to heavy for my neck to suport. So, the collar on felt good. At three weeks out, I wasn't wearing it anymore. Driving came about 3 1/2 weeks after surgery.

My personal experience with having an ACDF and a Lumbar discektomy(sp) with Fusion of L4-5, I would take the ACDF surgery hands down compared to the lumbar fusion. Don't get me wrong, the ACDF surgery is still a major surgery and lots of healing time, but to me, the Lumbar was worse.

Anyway, good luck to you in your healing. Just remember to take it easy, follow Dr.s orders and get your needed rest.

Happy Holidays to you and your family,

Bernie

 
Old 12-27-2006, 01:57 PM   #15
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Re: Not wearing a neck brace after ACDF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKZ
I am going to have an ACDF at C5-C7 soon. I was supposed to actually have it today, but due to a bad blizzard in Colorado it got postoned (not sure till when). My orthopedic spine surgeon is going to do the usual plate and screws routine, but I wont have to wear a neck brace. Is that normal or should I be worried that that is odd?
It could be because you're having one level done. Some doc's believe in them, others don't.

I am due to have 3 levels done C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 and I was told I would have to wear one for 3-6 months.

If you feel concerned, you really should mention it to your doc and then he/she could give you their reasons for not having you wear one.

Good Luck!!

 
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