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  • 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

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    Old 04-27-2007, 03:27 PM   #1
    souffoue
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    8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Hi everyone,

    I had my surgery 8 days ago. I was feeling pretty good after the surgery while in the hospital - even some of the numbness in my hand was gone. After I got home, the pain got worse (sure from surgery) and the numbness/tingling came back. I'm doing ok managing the pain. I do however HATE the hard aspen collar that I have to wear 24/7 - even while showering. Which I don't understand how I am supposed to wash my hair with the aspen collar on when it goes half way up the back of my head???? I admit I took it off and wore my soft collar to shower.

    I have a question about the dressing. IN my post-op instructions is says to keep the dressing clean and dry and leave the dressing on for 4 to 5 days unless it gets wet. Ok - that is not a problem. Then it says - after 3 days take the dressing off and redress the incision if there is drainage.


    I don't have any drainage - but I have been keeping the incision covered with gauze/tape. I have to wear the collar 24/7 and I worry about the collar rubbing the incision. I still have the steri-strips on too even though it says they can be removed a week after surgery - or sooner if they loosen. They haven't loosen and I can't bring myself to take them off. I don't do wound/incision care well - it pretty much freaks me out!

    How long did you keep your incision covered with gauze? I thought I would need to as long as I was wearing the collar? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!!!!

     
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    Old 04-27-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
    monarog
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Hi "Souffoue,"

    I absolutely do not have an answer for you as I never had a collar so I didn't have that issue. For me dressing was 4 days or so and the steri strips were off after about a week. Like I said, I didn't have that horrible collar issue...you'll have to hear from the "collar folk."

    I'm just posting to say hi. I've thought of you as I knew how frightened you were prior to surgery and was happy to see you were posting. Welcome home. We're sort of neighbors you know...I'm in Bellingham. Yeah...I'm 5.5 wks post op and my entire hand was tingling the last couple of days...then stopped today. I just don't get it. Keep us posted on how you're doing...sounds like things are going pretty good for you...other than that awful collar deal, ugh! Good luck.

    Mona

     
    Old 04-27-2007, 05:12 PM   #3
    PearlDoves
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    I think I only had gauze and tape etc on for a few days. Its not a beautiful thing to look at but I wouldn't worry about it unless you do see drainage or something, otherwise it should be pretty well closed and fine. I can't recall my collar bothering it. You can always call the office to clarify things if you are still unsure.

     
    Old 04-27-2007, 05:42 PM   #4
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Glad to hear you are OK. We were all a lil worried about you! My first post op appt. was at about 12 days and they took my steri strips off then.

     
    Old 04-27-2007, 06:38 PM   #5
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    I wore collar. I kept the incision covered so collar wouldnt rub until the strips fell off and there wasn't any major scabs and redness. I also didn't pull the strips off, they told me to naturally let them loosen and fall off. It think the last one took about 3 weeks and by then it was irritating me so i would purposly wet it in the shower.

     
    Old 04-27-2007, 07:47 PM   #6
    souffoue
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Thanks for the replies and information. I think I will keep it covered because the incision is where the collar will hit/rub it and I just feel better about keeping it covered.

    I feel like I am doing pretty well as far as managing pain. I am having more trouble right now with this horrible collar -- I absolutely hate it! I think I will burn it when I am done with it. I know it isn't helping my "mood" since I am not smoking and stopped after the surgery. My mood is horrible and I have the energy of a gnat but other than that the pain has been manageable most days.

    It is also hard for my DD. She has been having to deal with me being in pain and not being able to do all the "usual" mommie things for a while now and she is starting to act out. It breaks my heart to see how this is effecting her but I keep trying to tell her that I will be back to the fun, old mommie soon. She HATES seeing me in the collar too - she hated the soft collar and now this one she hates even more.

    I don't go in for a follow-up appt for 4 weeks after the surgery date - I thought that was a little long but . . . . oh well. So I will see the surgeon (or his assistant) on the 18th of May -- seems so far away. I am hoping he will tell me I don't have to wear the collar anymore!!!

    Thanks again for the replies -- I knew the experts would have the answer.

    I'll try to get back on again soon.

    Good luck to everyone!!!!!!

     
    Old 04-28-2007, 09:26 AM   #7
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    I had an idea for you, toward the end I hated my collar. For a joke, I actually put these rhinestone flowers on it just so my family would get a laugh. Why not have your DD make some fun decoration with you. That will give you something to talk about and make her feel like she is helping you.

    CONGRATULATIONS ON NOT SMOKING!!!!!

    Last edited by PNo; 04-28-2007 at 09:27 AM. Reason: sp

     
    Old 04-28-2007, 11:35 AM   #8
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    The collar I had (aspen collar) didn't even come close to touching the incisions. What type of collar do you have?
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    Old 04-29-2007, 10:37 PM   #9
    souffoue
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    neckpatient - what a GREAT idea! She would love to put some rhinestones on my collar!! I used to joke when I first got this injury that I was going to put some 'bling' on the soft boring white collar. Thanks again - I think Em would love that! Thanks for the congrats on not smoking - it is SOOOO hard. Even though my throat is sore - I still want one soooooo desperately.

    kross -- I also have an aspen collar, maybe there are different types? Mine does touch the incision - my incision is to the right of the hole that is in the front of the collar (if that makes sense). I could post a pic but I am not sure if we are allowed or how to post a pic on this site.

     
    Old 05-04-2007, 07:28 AM   #10
    987mom
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Hi Friend,

    I also have had lots of fun with my hard collar. I have found these neat blister bandaids that my husband applied at all of the sites on my neck and shoulder that I was getting irritation and pressure spots. As for the hair washing....good luck. I just do my best.

    There is a Philidelphia collar that can be used in the shower that allows a bit more access to your hair. Call your doc and see if he/she might allow you to use that during hygiene times.

    Hang in there. It is going to be worth it. Focus on the Health and Wellness that will follow all of this!

    Best Wishes,
    DB

     
    Old 05-04-2007, 11:02 PM   #11
    souffoue
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Hi 987,

    I keep telling everyone as soon as I can take the collar off permanently - I am having a collar burning party!! Thanks for the info on the other collar. I have just been wearing my soft collar in the shower. I figure it cant' be that bad as I am only in there for about 10 minutes and the hard collar is only off for maybe half an hour at the most total counting the shower and trying to dry my hair LOL are you out of your collar now?

     
    Old 05-07-2007, 11:32 AM   #12
    julyg
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Hi also had aspen collar and steri strips.

    They got pretty disgusting looking! My Drs. office said after a week, splash a little water on strips and it would help them disolve. They eventually came up with the slightest pull.

    I too am squeemish about wound care.

    july

     
    Old 05-08-2007, 06:34 PM   #13
    souffoue
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    Finally got the steri-strips off. Still looks pretty gross in my book! I don't do wounds, blood, etc. well!

     
    Old 05-08-2007, 09:28 PM   #14
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    Re: 8 Days post ACDF - incision question

    I just got the official "off with the collar" from the NS yesterday, at 15 weeks post op! Little did he know that I hadn't been wearing the collar the past two weeks since he cancelled my appointment twice due to 2 emergency surgeries. I wore that hard aspen collar 99.98% of the time he wished for me to wear it. Fortunately, I was able to shower without the collar, even if my neck did feel a bit weak. That got tricky because you want to keep your neck straight & it's easy to look around & move & not know about it. I also used some pads that I got in the hospital at first but DH ordered a stock of them that I would put under the neck part of the collar & the other part in the back because I would perspire & make the collar foam filthy. I'll look up the name & number if you're interested.

    Kudos on keeping off the cigs. I'm sorry it's so hard on you. Last week, I stopped the chantix that I used to quit the cigs. All is well, still no nic fits & cig free since some time the first week or so in Jan.

    I hope your surgeon isn't as strict as mine was but it sounds like he may be worse with the shower with the collar.

    Good luck,
    Ro

     
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