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    Old 06-27-2004, 12:34 AM   #1
    shurna
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    multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    I had ACDF with two fusions in the C spine (C4/C5 and C5/C6), titanium plate, and cleaning out extra bone growth. It is 2 1/2 weeks post op and I am doing very well. My doctor says I will need to wear a hard neck collar (philidelph collar) for three months along with neck exercizes to increase neck muscle strength. It seems a bit long to be using a collar and I am a shy about going out in public as well as I am not sure how much I should be moving around. And wearing a hard collar will also prevent going back to the work as I am unemployed at the moment.

    Can anyone advice me who has had similar surgery if they had to wear a hard collar for that long? And when they were able to go back to normal activities? And when they were able to go back to an active lifestyle?

    I appreciate the feedback.

     
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    Old 06-27-2004, 04:42 AM   #2
    Hurdy
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shurna
    I had ACDF with two fusions in the C spine (C4/C5 and C5/C6), titanium plate, and cleaning out extra bone growth. It is 2 1/2 weeks post op and I am doing very well. My doctor says I will need to wear a hard neck collar (philidelph collar) for three months along with neck exercizes to increase neck muscle strength. It seems a bit long to be using a collar and I am a shy about going out in public as well as I am not sure how much I should be moving around. And wearing a hard collar will also prevent going back to the work as I am unemployed at the moment.

    Can anyone advice me who has had similar surgery if they had to wear a hard collar for that long? And when they were able to go back to normal activities? And when they were able to go back to an active lifestyle?

    I appreciate the feedback.
    Hi there, Well i had a acdf C 4-5 and C 5-6 just like you, except i have titanium cages put in place and filled with Demineralized Bone Matrix. I had my surgery April 5th. I still have alot of pain!!!! Most days i ask myself why i had the surgery. Anyways, after my surgery i only had to wear a soft collar for about 6 weeks. When i went back for my one week post op checkup i was told the heaviest thing i could lift was a gallon of milk. that was all i could lift for about a month. Went back for my approx. 6 week post op check up and he raised me up to being able to lift up to 25 pounds. that is my limit for 2 months. I go back again in July and he will raise me up to 50 pounds for 2 months. After that i am not sure if i will have another weight restriction or if he will turn me loose!!!!!! I still have pain in my neck, shoulders and arms. The pain in the shoulder and arms is a little less than before the surgery but the neck pain i think alot of the times is worse. The neck pain also feels different than before, it feels like bone pain. Everyday i hope that it gets better but it hasnt yet. Anyway, sorry i cant give you info about the hard collar, i just thought i would respond to you seeing how we have alot in common. Hope i helped some, Wendy

     
    Old 06-28-2004, 12:20 PM   #3
    HDrider
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    I never wore a collar at all with my surgery ( I had ACDF of C4-5 on June 10)
    I've been doing whatever I feel comfortable doing. The only restrictions my Dr had on me was not to drive for 10 days. I cheated a little as it was 9 days when I started riding my motorcycle.
    Oh---he did tell me not to do neck exercises if I went to the gym. Also--not to sit in a recliner and use the little cervi pillow if I sleep on my back. Go back in a few days for my 3 week check up and that is when I will be able to go back to work full time.

     
    Old 06-28-2004, 02:47 PM   #4
    dalesgirl
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    My husband had surgery in July 2002. He broke c1, c7,t1, t2,t3 and has 12, 14mm screws in place. He was to wear the halo for 12 weeks but it came loose and he only wore it 6 weeks but had to wear the collar for about 3-4 months. The neurosurgeon let him after a bit take it off when he was sitting and leaning back but he was to wear it everywhere else.

     
    Old 06-28-2004, 03:02 PM   #5
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    I had C5/6&6/7 with plating and and bone from my own hip. I had to wear the hard brace (Phila******a collar) for 6 weeks. During this time I was told no lifting more than 5 lbs. (a gallon of milk).

    As far as going out I went out in public about one week after surgery. I went grocery shopping with my mother - I was very cautious in walking around and anytime someone came near me with a cart I just about froze in my steps. After that trip it got easier going out in public - about 14 days after surgery I went to the mall with my sister - she went her way and I went mine.

    After the brace came off I was told no more than 10 lbs. lifting and I started PT right away. I returned to work the day after the brace came off - but was told no lifting or strenuous movements, if I got pain stop doing what I was doing and rest. It was about 6 months before I can say I was truly back to doing things I did before surgery.

    One thing I did do, was I did not rely solely on the neck brace for support, yes, I wore it as I was supposed to but when sitting in a chair I tended to try to use the muscles in the neck to hold up my head. I did not rest my chin on the brace at all times. The Rehab Doctor was very surprised at how much strength I had in my neck once the brace was removed. When I told him what I did he said this is why I had the strength. I did not start doing this until about the third week.

    Good luck with your recovery and remember to take it easy - do what you think you can do but don't overdo.

     
    Old 07-01-2004, 07:10 PM   #6
    pattymelt
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    I had ACDF and PCDF of C2-3, 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 on March 29th. I wore the Miami J hard brace for three full months and have just been out of it for less than a week. I wore a Phila******a collar when showering for the first six weeks. I could remove the hard collar at night when sleeping. I had a 10 pound weight restriction and still have weight restriction. I had grafting and titanium plating front and back. I had a 3 inch incision in the front and a 6-1/2 inch incision in the back, both of which have healed beautifully. I am still in pain, although I am improving every day and feel so much better than I did before surgery and the first month after surgery. I am 74 years young and my NS was amazed at how well I am doing. I am doing almost everything I did before, although I had to give up my life-long profession of medical transcription as it was contributing to the stress on my spine. My whole spine is affected with spinal degeneration and osteoarthritis, but the neck region was the worst and the danger of paralysis was the determining factor in my deciding to have surgery. It was no picnic and I am still a long way from being completely healed but I know by doing what the doctor says and taking care of myself and getting proper diet, exercise and rest, I will continue to improve. Good luck to all who have had this surgery recently or are contemplating having it. I still take Percocet and Flexeril every day, although one a day of each whereas when I first had surgery I was taking both every three hours, so that is a great improvement in itself.

    God Bless and Good Luck

    Pat

     
    Old 07-06-2004, 08:46 PM   #7
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    Talking Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    Hi
    I had a multilevel (four) ACD&F with two level corpectomy, bone graft and plating December 1. I wore a neck brace for 5 months! and a used a bone growth stimulator for 6 months. I am doing pretty well. Symptoms of numbness and tingling in hands, feet, legs and lower arms is much better, but still having tingling in toes and right hand which may or may not improve. I had a severe spinal cord compression and waited to long to get it fixed. You will do well just hang in there. I went everywhere with my brace, no need to be shy.

    Mary

     
    Old 12-17-2007, 06:51 AM   #8
    dale7
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shurna View Post
    I had ACDF with two fusions in the C spine (C4/C5 and C5/C6), titanium plate, and cleaning out extra bone growth. It is 2 1/2 weeks post op and I am doing very well. My doctor says I will need to wear a hard neck collar (philidelph collar) for three months along with neck exercizes to increase neck muscle strength. It seems a bit long to be using a collar and I am a shy about going out in public as well as I am not sure how much I should be moving around. And wearing a hard collar will also prevent going back to the work as I am unemployed at the moment.

    Can anyone advice me who has had similar surgery if they had to wear a hard collar for that long? And when they were able to go back to normal activities? And when they were able to go back to an active lifestyle?

    I appreciate the feedback.
    Hi. I had acdf 3 fusion (my own hip bone removed), July 18 2007, philly type rigid collar on 24/7 July to Sept, off to shower and on again until next shower until Dec 4 . Four and a half months no one can understand what that is like unless they have done it . It effects Every aspect of your life. Go out don't stay in walk as much as you can. But listen to your body and rest when needed.
    Dec4 until now on and off as required (required quite a bit) .
    I am trying to return to some of my activities swimming, sewing etc its hard to accept somethings I just will never be able to do like snowmobiling .But i won't be paralyzed on my left side either. I have lost about 50%of range of motion permanently and can't pick up my neice , I work as a custdian and will not be able to return to my job(I am looking into retraining).I hurt more now than before surgery(it is a different pain).My DR's tell me I am normal the burning,tingling,throbbing,aching,numbne ss,headaches are NORMAL?So I am about five months post op and hope this helped. It takes time to heal.

     
    Old 12-17-2007, 09:23 AM   #9
    Backinthesaddle
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    Dale just a quicky on your deal. NORMAL? I have the same feelings 1 1/2 years later. Some days awful and some days like today are really good. I think that the medical profession is stumped on why the pain cycle continues and do not know what to tell us.

    I only had a single level fusion and unlike most my surgery lated 32 min and no hospital stay and I had a hard collar for minimal use like driving. No soft collar. I really believe it is the doctor who prefers a collar or doesn't.

     
    Old 12-17-2007, 11:20 AM   #10
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    I had multiple fusions and wore hard collar each time even though I had titanium plating etc.. The longest time I wore one was 12 weeks. It is a dr. preference on whether to use or not. Why not use every thing offered for the best outcome! Studies have shown similar results collar/no collar when plating/cages are used. Usually people with one level surgeries don't wear a collar.

    You will find it gets more comfortable after about one month and when the swelling goes down a bit. This is hard to explain, the best advice I can give is to try not to press your chin down on the brace. When fitted properly you will be resting on the brace, but try to continue to use your muscles and help hold up your head. You will have less neck pain when it comes off.

     
    Old 12-17-2007, 07:59 PM   #11
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    Re: multiple - ACDF and hard neck brace

    I had an Aspen collar for about 6 weeks post-op. I did go out (to friend's homes, out to dinner, with my husband to the grocery store). I highly reccomend you stay as physcially active as you can - even if it's just a walk around the block. I only went out a few times and sat on my but for the rest of the time. When I went back to work at 7 weeks post-op I was exhausted. Not from the surgery.....but from deconditioning due to not moving enough - I was tired from the walk from my car to the front of the office building :-)
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