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  • how long do you wear the brace??

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    Old 09-02-2006, 02:29 PM   #1
    leslie lou
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    how long do you wear the brace??

    what is the shortests time anyone has wore there brace??? i had acdf on august 28th c5-6 c5-7. what does it depend on?

     
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    Old 09-03-2006, 04:49 AM   #2
    jayep99
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    I got mine off after 2 weeks and was able to start driving also.

    Judy (acdf c5-6, c6-7) June 13
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    Old 09-03-2006, 06:46 AM   #3
    leslie lou
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    wow that is a short time, how are you doing now?

     
    Old 09-03-2006, 04:16 PM   #4
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    I'm doing real good. I went back to work 6 weeks post op. I still have to take a pain pill daily for leg and hip pain (especially if I've been on my feet all day.
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    Old 09-03-2006, 06:52 PM   #5
    Kissa
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    I did not wear one at all and had C4-C7 done. It depends on what theory your doctor subscribes to really. I would say probably half of the doctors today no longer use the brace because it actually weakens the neck muscles and can impede healing.

    I for one am glad I did not wear a hard brace! I was scared at first that my neck would be unstable but it was not. I had no problems at all and seemed to have healed up rather quickly.

     
    Old 09-04-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
    leslie lou
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    did you have a plate???

     
    Old 09-04-2006, 01:19 PM   #7
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    Yes I have a plate, donar bones and several screws (and now a broken screw that came as a result of a car accident a year post op).

    I asked my doctor why he didn't put me in any brace because I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and I dislocate very easy. His reply was as I mentioned, braces inhibit or restrict proper healing and weaken the neck muscles because you rely on the brace to support you. Additionally many people are claustrophobic and can not stand to wear a brace.

    I did quite a bit of research regarding brace vs. no brace and it appears that more and more doctors are opting for no brace.

    A friend of mine had 2 levels done in July, he lives in a different state so obviously a different doctor. He has a plate and screws as well with cadaver bone. He did not wear a brace post op either.

    There have been other members on the board who have reported the same in the past if you look through old posts.

    The only hard part of not wearing the brace was car rides. Sleeping was not an issue nor was showering. I did not feel like my head was going to fall off my neck or anything like that. My neck was not weak by any means. I have heard from people who have wore the brace who say that after it is removed their head feels like it might fall off because the muscles are so week from being dependant on the brace.

    I only had to do 4 weeks of physical therapy, twice a week, and I got all of my range of motion back but maybe a few percent. My muscles were strong to begin with so I didn't even have to work on that.

     
    Old 09-04-2006, 01:47 PM   #8
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    that is so interesting!!! what were your restrictions while you were healing??? abd are they going to do anything about the broke screw??

     
    Old 09-04-2006, 05:25 PM   #9
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    my restrictions were no different than probably most folks. I was allowed to shower several days after the surgery but waited to wash my hair I think for almost a week because I was nervous about it because I have long hair that's very thick and heavy.

    I was not allowed to drive for 6 weeks. No heavy lifting. No turning head left or right, up or down too far. My neck was tight so I couldn't move it too far if I tried. I can't really think of anything else major. Just lots of rest and loads of ice.

    I slept with one of those cushie pillows that have little white balls in them. I slept on my back the first day or two but then on my side the rest of the time with the pillow wedged under my neck.

    The incision was stitched on the inside and then steri strip taped on the outside. It took over 2 weeks for those things to fall off.

    As far as the broken screw goes, it is busted at about a 45 degree angle inside of the vertebrea and is not broken all the way off, it's literally hanging together by a thread of the screw.

    I was told it would be far more dangerous to take the screw out because they would have to crack the vertebrea to even remove it. It would be a pretty serious surgery. It isn't back out or even moving. I have had constant pain since the accident but the doctor thinks it's because muscles and nerves were damaged and not so much the screw. I was rearended while at a dead stop.

    As mentioned I was greatful I didn't have to wear the brace. Ironically I have one that I wear now on occasion when my neck hurts more than normal because of the accident. I find it very irritating if I wear it too long so I can only imagine what you folks are going through or went through having to wear it for 6 weeks.

    It's a shame the accident even happened because I really believe I'd be doing pretty good had that not occured. I guess if anything it serves as a reminder to others never go on amusement rides or in a car that stops or starts suddenly because you don't know what could happen!

    I hope you have a speedy recovery!!

    Barb

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 08:25 PM   #10
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    Re: how long do you wear the brace??

    I had a C5-C7 ACDF 5/18/06 and my orthopedic spinal surgeon mandates the an aspen collar be worn for 6 weeks. This, in his opinion, aids in the fusion and in the plates/screws stabilizing. Although I had some neck fatigue when I stopped wearing the collar, I didn't have any real muscle weakness. I did take the collar off when showering and also on occasion when it was irritating me (more in the last 2 weeks of the 6 weeks when I felt I was in a safer zone).
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