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  • ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

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    Old 06-14-2006, 09:13 PM   #1
    texredbird
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    ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    Hey folks,
    I know it's only been a couple days since surgery....but my throat is still kickin my butt. Is this normal????? I feel like I have something stuck in there.
    Not to mention this collar is making blisters and bruises all over my shoulders and neck. Also, there is a small amount of clear or pink sticky stuff coming from one end of the incision. Is this normal too??? Sorry to bug you....sure wish the doc would have stuck around long enough to talk to me after the surgery was done. Thanks, Robin

     
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    Old 06-14-2006, 11:16 PM   #2
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    Oh the joy of the collar! I get to start taking mine off this weekend (6 weeks under my belt)

    Hmm, anytime incision worries you all the dr. if it is red, swelling or tender i would worry. it could be stuff they put on there that you are seeing, but it never hurts to call the office.

    on the collar, i went to fabric store and bought this really soft, furry, thin material, cut and lined around my chin and tender spots. It gets better after a few weeks when you adjust to it. Also when swelling goes down in throat it feels lots better.

    Throat swelling is normal, drink lots of fluids with food, eat soft stuff for a week, take pills with applesauce or pudding.

     
    Old 06-15-2006, 07:13 AM   #3
    dennisgb
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by texredbird
    Hey folks,
    I know it's only been a couple days since surgery....but my throat is still kickin my butt. Is this normal????? I feel like I have something stuck in there.
    Not to mention this collar is making blisters and bruises all over my shoulders and neck. Also, there is a small amount of clear or pink sticky stuff coming from one end of the incision. Is this normal too??? Sorry to bug you....sure wish the doc would have stuck around long enough to talk to me after the surgery was done. Thanks, Robin
    Sounds pretty normal. Your throat will feel like that for a while.

    I hated the collar, although I did get used to it about a week before they took it off I had to wear the darn thing from June 30th until October 15th...3 1/2 months!!!!

    I had a ceremonial collar burning party after it was off.

    Dennis

     
    Old 06-15-2006, 07:17 AM   #4
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    hey Robin,sorry you are suffering thru this crap.post op surgical crap is the worst.I have gone thu it five times now and it never gets better. I am jsut wondering what type of collar you have?Did they actually "fit" it for you/ I had no clue that they even did this til after I suffered the ongoing post op crap after my first c spine surgery with one of those nasty philly collars,that two piece front and back put together thing?

    Despite the fact that I had actually told my NS that I would probably have to have a ped size collar as the space between my chin and the base of my shoulders(working in EMS the space between the chin and the shoulders is how we used to gage the right sized collar for any given patient)is rather small as I am a small framed person he chose the adult size small. wow i was just soo miserable because this thing was constantly digging into me like everywhere.

    after suffering thu that then 9 months later need another one,I asked his really mean and nasty nurse(she was a whole other story)about getting the ped size one this time,and she just happens to mention that oh you can actually get this fitted at blah blah blahs place.im like oh thanks for telling me that when I kept calling you like everyweek while dealing with that nightmare collar the last go round.geez ya think she could have mentioned this too me when I was in agony the last time??? nooo not her i truely think she loves to watch patients suffer.

    anyway she sent me to this prosthetics place that also does collars for pre op patients?and they ended up fitting me with a miami J PED size collar.it made a huge huge difference in my post op comfort.i could even sleep half a** with this one..since this collar is going to be with you for a while,it may be worth looking into for you.if the collar you are currently wearing is actually digging into your shoulders,its too big.believe me,I worked as a firefighter for over fifteen years and have probably applied over hundreds of c collars over that time of many differnet types shapes and sizes.you do not have to keep suffering with this when there are other options availiable to you.I would speak with your NSs nurse about the places that they send patients too when they need some sort of assistive devices or collars fitted they should have some names of places for you to try.its worth a shot for you anyway.

    depending on what type of collar you have you 'can" do a bit of 'reshaping' of certain areas to make it more comfy.after all,that collar IS yours now.aslong as you do not jeoprodize the actual integrity and stability of the collar,you can be a bit creative if you have to.I ended up cutting the bottom of my philly with an exacto blade.felt much better after that,believe me.

    just a thought.I do hope you recover quickly and as painless as possible.please keep us all posted,K? hang in there.marcia
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    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
    Old 06-15-2006, 06:52 PM   #5
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    My collar is driving me nuts too but I may have a more comfortable version (I have the Aspen) as I'm not getting any skin irritation. I do have to wear t-shirts insted of open neck shirts as it is much more comfortable resting on a shirt instead of directly on my skin.
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    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 06-15-2006, 09:10 PM   #6
    texredbird
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    The one I have is the Philly....and it's just too big! It goes up to about mid-way of my ears and is biting my shoulders big time! I gotta do something...I can't find a comfortable position....my neck muscles are in a near constant spasm and I can't sleep. Whew! I feel better, just had to vent. I know it will get better... just gotta be patient. Thanks for understanding!
    Robin

     
    Old 06-15-2006, 10:07 PM   #7
    ThoreauFan
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    That collar doesn't sound correctly sized at all.

    If you haven't already, I would definitely mention the collar difficulties to the Dr.'s office as well as the discharge from the surgical site -- that's what they are there for. Don't be afraid to dial them up and express your concerns.

    Your well-being is #1.
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    Old 06-16-2006, 03:46 PM   #8
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThoreauFan
    That collar doesn't sound correctly sized at all.

    If you haven't already, I would definitely mention the collar difficulties to the Dr.'s office as well as the discharge from the surgical site -- that's what they are there for. Don't be afraid to dial them up and express your concerns.

    Your well-being is #1.
    I called the NS yesterday and again this am...never heard from them, so I called again this afternoon. Finally talked to him.... he said the pain across my shoulders and middle of my neck is normal...as far as the collar goes...it's friday evening and too late to get you another one now! I was compelled to let him know that I had called his office 3 times..but opted to just go with coming in monday to get another collar. The drainage seems better and the swelling is about the same. I wish I could zap myself ahead about 3 months...lol. Looking for some scissors...gonna do some adjusting on this thing! maybe that will help some. Thanks, Robin

     
    Old 06-16-2006, 03:51 PM   #9
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    I'd agree with getting re-fitted for the collar. The first one they gave me was a 'tall' and when I put it on pre-surgery at home I felt like it was too big and I'd come out having the neck length of a giraffe . The second one is a 'regular' and MUCH better.
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    Last edited by SpineAZ; 06-16-2006 at 03:52 PM.

     
    Old 06-19-2006, 07:26 AM   #10
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    yep that collar is just wayyy too big for you.this is the exact problem I was having with that stupid philly i was forced to endure,i actually had more pain in my shoulders at times than with my freakin neck!and actual deep grooving in there too.definitely get a fitted collar,those phillys should actually get taken out of every OR everywhere.they are the most uncomfortable collar ever invented.the abck of my head used to go to sleep as I had to lie on my back but that coller,because it only came up to the mid back of my head,would compress nerves there and I would wake up with like most of the back of my head totally and completely numb.now that can't be good.i ended up lying a fluffy towel on my pillow that started right where the collar left off so I didn't have that constant pressure there anymore.things were soo much better afte i did that.

    that collar causes more problams than it actually helps.get a new one.you will be sooo glad you did.since you are going to have to keep wearing this thing for like a total of six weeks,it would definitely make things much more comfy for you and less tortureous so most definitely worth any price that you may have to pay.hopefully you can get this this week.good luck and please continue to keep us all posted on how you are doin.marcia
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    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
    Old 06-19-2006, 09:35 AM   #11
    CFD050161
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    Texredbird hope your doing well.

    I meet with my surgeon next week to schedule ACDF C4-C7 and know he will require that I wear a "hard" collar. IF the Phili is really bad what type should I request. Everything I read hear tells how important it is to try and get situated with the collar before surgery but they won't do it until the day after surgery. May look at purchasing one out of my pocket.

    Lettie

     
    Old 06-19-2006, 07:45 PM   #12
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    Hi, if it is a hard collar, they all seem to have the same basic design with a little difference. For sure get it properly fitted for the right size. Expect it to be uncomfortable the first couple weeks, but gradually improve as you get used to it. It is impossible for me to sleep comfortably in it without being significantly proped up with pillows, and in fact the recliner is best. get the collar fitted ahead of time and try it on for spots that might be tender on you, and use creativity like lining the pads with thin soft furry fabric, mine was a miami j good luck to you!

     
    Old 06-19-2006, 08:53 PM   #13
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    The collar I have is an Aspen Collar. [REMOVED] It is what I call semi-rigid. It holds well but has some slight give and the pads can be moved to accomdate comfort.

    Since my doc insists on 6 wk in the collar I purchased a second set of collar pads ($36) so that I could wear one and wash the other. Or I could shower wiht the collar on if needed and then change out to the dry pads.
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    Last edited by HBMod07; 06-20-2006 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Please do not advise users on research

     
    Old 06-20-2006, 07:12 AM   #14
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    mine was a "miami J",wayyy more comfy than the philly was.geez,anything would have been beter than that dang philly.when they state "hard' collar.all that means is they don't want one of those really stupid little sft collars that you see some people wearing from time to time.they are basically worthless and shouldn't even be out there.they offer you nothing as far as stability or allowing your head to remain stabilized in that one position.if the neck is allowed to move at all during the healing process,the bone ends will not attach themselves and you are going to have to have yet another surgery.the collar acts as a splint,just like a splint/cast on your arm after a break,that just aligns and holds those bone ends to stay in contact and eventually fuse together.

    just speak with your surgeons office for a reference to one of those places like a prosthetic company that makes all the different types of post op spilinting girdles and collars and stuff likethat.thats where I got the number of the place where I went before my second surgery.it really would have been nice to have had that little number before my initial surgery.trust me,you do not want to go with the philly that they will place on you if you do not get your own.they just suck,in many ways.Good luck on the suregry,marcia
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    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

     
    Old 06-20-2006, 11:45 PM   #15
    texredbird
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    Re: ARGH.......this collar is drivin me nuts!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CFD050161
    Texredbird hope your doing well.

    I meet with my surgeon next week to schedule ACDF C4-C7 and know he will require that I wear a "hard" collar. IF the Phili is really bad what type should I request. Everything I read hear tells how important it is to try and get situated with the collar before surgery but they won't do it until the day after surgery. May look at purchasing one out of my pocket.

    Lettie
    Sorry for not getting back in touch....I am better now. I guess I was having some depression issues. I cried for 3 straight days and I'm not much of a cryer!
    I saw the NS today and he allowed me to go into the soft collar!!!! This is much better. The Philly collar was bad and impossible to sleep in. I don't know about any others. I think sleep deprivation was part of the depression.
    I am still having muscle spasms across my shoulders and mid-back. NS says this is a normal reaction to the surgery and should subside soon. I sure hope so. He told me to reduce my pain meds to no more than 3 pills a day. I hope that will be enough. He didn't prescribe muscle relaxers...I had some from another doc....but didn't tell the NS that I had them. Are they bad to take? I remember seeing on this site where others had been taking them. I think they help me more than the pain med. I only have a few left , oh well, I guess I will just have to tuff it out. Has anyone else had trouble with depression??? I really haven't had too many episodes of it in my 44 years of living....but this has really been hard for some reason. I have a lot of other stuff going on in my life right now, but somehow it seems to be tied into this surgery. Does that make sense? Well, good luck on your upcoming surgery , I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope it all goes well.
    Thanks for being here! Robin

     
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