Strange how things work. I'm shocked they let you take collar off. Dr was infatic (sp) about not taking it off. Around 3 1/2 months I snuck it off for showers since I hated it taking so long to dry and by then the pads were starting to fall apart from wearing and washing so much. I dont know why they made me wear it so long maybe because of head falling down after last surgery.
I'm not sure about feeling the fusing maybe. Sounds like your doing well.
If you have irritation with incision I found aloe vera helpful not for the red as mine is still red, looks like frankenstein with all the screw heads (thought those were bones) up and down neck.
At my two week visit I was switched to a soft collar and told that I could drive short distances. I was told to wear the soft collar around the house and that it was legal to drive in it but if I went out for a walk to wear the hard collar. I do wear it most of the time and if it is off it is mostly when I am just sitting in a supportive chair. I can't stand the chafing on my skin!
I asked the doctor why they even use the collar if the hardware is in place and he said that some doctors don't use collars anymore and especially if it is just a one or two level fusion. He told me that they believe it helps with healing and good fusion and that it is a safety measure to keep you from suddenly turning your head if you get distracted or hear a noise or the like.
I have my six week appt. on June 1st and I am to get xrays the day before or that morning.
I am doing very well. The doctor is very happy about my progress. I find that I suffer though if I do too much in the day. Mother's day was just too much and Monday I had to take a pain pill in the morning and one at bed time. I feel good but I have to rein myself in.
The following user gives a hug of support to Jude4340: Saucer (05-10-2011)
Wow, thats awesome. I had a soft collar after the laminectomy in 1994 and found it bothered my top palate from bottom teeth pushing on it all the time. Never got a soft collar after this surgery (was glad). Remember when you do too much it can slow down the healing.
The following user gives a hug of support to Saucer: Jude4340 (05-10-2011)
The Following User Says Thank You to Saucer For This Useful Post: Jude4340 (05-10-2011)
So I am pushing 6 weeks out from my surgery (June 1). I am to get an xray before my June 1st appt to see if the fusion is making some progress I guess and I assume to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be. I feel pretty good and I don't wear my collar much around the house or when I am sleeping. I am always stiff in the morning though. My trapezius muscles are always tight in the morning and I do some very gentle shoulder rolls and a little gentle self massage. I feel like I have sorta reached a plateau. The healing seemed to go so fast at first and now it seems more incremental. I am still encouraged but feeling a bit impatient.
I am driving and back to work. I have worked the last three days and I have one day next week and then I am done for the summer. I work in a school as a clinic aide - easy job mostly sitting.
My biggest complaint is the incision which burns a little and some random burning hot spots that come and go. They are pretty uncomfortable. I have one spot that is tender to touch but it is next to the incision not directly on the incision and it is more on the surface not deep inside. Has anyone experienced these hot spots? I also have some deeper pain too that changes from day to day. Nothing serious - more annoying than anything.
You are correct, the xray is to see that everything is where its suppose to be. I didnt have burning to the touch on my skin. I know burning is usually nerves so.. Glad to hear your getting better. Good luck and take care.
Doc says I am ahead of the curve! The xrays were all good and the doc said I could start PT. Thanks for asking. I am totally out of my collar now and I can pretty much do what I want within reason but no severe range of motion.
The following user gives a hug of support to Jude4340: Saucer (06-05-2011)