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    Old 02-27-2005, 09:37 AM   #1
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 9
    dwfoster HB User
    cervical collar,pro and con

    Three days ago I underwent ACDF for c5-6.My Doctor prefers not to use a collar.I feel like I could use the extra support. What have some you your doctors told you about the use of collars? I wonder if I am in more danger to not acquire fusion if I move around any.Also, did anyone get recommendations to injest extra calcium to help the healing?I am new to this forum,I found it surfing the web.It looks like it could be very informative.Thanks

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    Old 02-27-2005, 09:46 AM   #2
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Location: USA
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    PNo HB User
    Re: cervical collar,pro and con

    Welcome! I had a two level, C4-5 and C5-6 in December, with donor bone and titanium plate. I had to wear a hard Miami J collar for 6 weeks, and actually as I "weaned" off it wore it almost another 2 weeks, and am only now down to a couple hours a day.

    My surgeon said it helps with two things. One to help promote healing/fusion, I had to have xrays that made progress in order to take it off when I did. There have been studies that suggest hardware and the collar get people back full function sooner. The second was for protection from someting stupid, like a slip, fall, in the car, etc. Neck is stable with the plate, but the extra protection helps during the early weeks.

    There are lots of people who don't wear them, with or without plating, it does seem to be a variety of opinions. Seems more likely in single level acdf you don't wear it. Calium levels were checked via blood panels, I was told to watch my intake and take extra. No NSAIDS! (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc)

    Old 02-27-2005, 11:40 AM   #3
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: wisconsin
    Posts: 332
    solardust HB User
    Re: cervical collar,pro and con

    Hi Dw, I had a one level fusion, c 6-7,donar bone ,I wore the hard collar for 12 weeks and an additional 2 weeks to wean off,I am a non-smoker,but took Nsaids for the disk above the fusion which is also out, I also had lower back surgery on L4-5, 2 months prior to the neck fusion,my doc told me he was putting off the next fusion in hopes medical tech goes further, I suppose w/ artificial discs ect.....the nsaids did not slow down my fusion, and I believe that debate is still out there,(but caused mayhem on my intestines). I do believe the collar did wonders,although to be honest, I hated the neck hugger to heck,just be careful and I would not take any car trips without it on.Take care, Diana

    Old 02-27-2005, 03:18 PM   #4
    Join Date: Jan 2005
    Posts: 88
    jaymz HB User
    Re: cervical collar,pro and con

    hello i had my c5-6 the 23rd doc said only wear collar in car or sleeping cuz i have plate, i kept it on up until about an hour ago, cuz of the pain, i took it off, the pain went away, i think the collar was pushing on fusion site, anyways do whatever makes you feel the best NS did say when not in collar DO NOT NOD YOUR HEAD UP AND DOWN side to side he said was fine peace and gl jaymz.....

    Old 02-27-2005, 03:58 PM   #5
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Posts: 60
    JenEbean HB User
    Re: cervical collar,pro and con

    I had ACF of C6-7 and was in the hard collar for 6 weeks, then a soft collar for 2 weeks. My surgery was adament about wearing the hard collar. I followed his instructions to the T. I would be very nervous without one.

    Old 02-28-2005, 07:09 AM   #6
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    chitowngl HB User
    Re: cervical collar,pro and con

    I had a C5-6 fusion with plating on Jan 6. When I woke up I was in a hard collar. I had to see my doctor a week later because I was having an allergic reaction to my pain meds. He took my collar off to check the incision and found my skin all chewed up due to the collar. He recommended that when I am home and doing nothing not to wear the collar. I wore it any time that I went out. I graduated to a soft collar in about 3 weeks. I hated the soft collar more and made an executive decision not to wear it. I saw my doctor last Friday and he said that I was doing great and didn't have to wear the collar anymore. My doctor is very conservative. I know that many doctors do not require a collar if you have plating. Everyone is different.
    Good Luck,

    Old 02-28-2005, 11:02 AM   #7
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Posts: 55
    disjointed HB User
    Re: cervical collar,pro and con

    My NS didn't require use of a collar at all. I had the surgery about 10 days ago and seem to be progressing as well as most others on the board. I must admit he was pretty liberal overall. He said go ahead and bend it anyway that feels comfortable, I could drive after 1 week if I felt like it, and he also said I could lift up to 25 pounds!

    I must admit these are about the most liberal "restrictions" I've heard, but so far everything seems to be going OK. Note, however, he is liberal about allowing a lot of time off for healing (I will get at least 8 weeks STD, although I do have a very physical job), and he prescribes pain meds (so far) liberally if you feel you need them.

    Even though I've gone past a week, I still haven't started driving because I don't feel my neck would do well with a sudden turn of my head.

    asnativ, could you reference where you saw the study showing people with collars do better than those without? I haven't seen that and would like to take a look at the study. Thanks!


    Old 02-28-2005, 12:23 PM   #8
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    wimpette HB User
    Re: cervical collar,pro and con

    I wore a soft collar for three weeks full time then as needed after a two level ACDF with plate and donor bone. The surgeon does not use a collar for a one level fusion. More recently I wore a hard collar continuously for 8 weeks after a posterior fusion then a soft collar for a further three weeks. Even at 4 months I still use the soft collar intermittently for comfort.

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