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    Old 04-07-2008, 07:30 PM   #1
    Wymom94
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    cervical collar question

    I picked up my cervical collar for post-op today (surgery is days away now). After I got it home, I wore it to see how I manage in the kitchen/house w/ it as advised, and I have a question now (will call the Orthotist tomorrow, but wanted to ask here now). Are you suppose to be biting your tongue in it? When I have it loose, it doesn't feel fully supportive, but when I tighten it, I bite my tongue, clench my teeth, and almost feel as if my head is swelling -like I've cut the blood flow. Have I just not found that perfect loose-tight spot, is this just how it is (biting-the-tongue-tight or more-movement-than-expected-loose), or is this the wrong size or type for me maybe? I was measured, then fitted by the Orthotist and he said this is my size. Is it just strange to adjust to? I was a little worried that I'd mess up my teeth/jaw wearing this for even a full day, let alone many days or even weeks post-op --or bite my tongue during the night (seriously). I'd love input from others who have worn the Miami J cervical collar or a similar one --please, thanks.
    Meghan
    p.s. --my tongue still feels weird w/ it off now and I didn't wear it THAT long.

     
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    Old 04-07-2008, 08:55 PM   #2
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    Re: cervical collar question

    I had an Aspen collar (there are many different kinds). When I went in they did a basic measurement and sent me home with the brace. I tried it 2x in the first few days and it just felt too "long" (from chin to chest). I went back and they gave me the next size down after having me try on both in front of them - they agreed that I needed the shorter one. Though every measurement they had done showed the longer one would be better.
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    Old 04-07-2008, 09:58 PM   #3
    Wymom94
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    Re: cervical collar question

    Thanks, spine! Mine is for a long, tall neck and I was also measured and fitted as a long, tall neck. I'm going to ask for an appt to go back in when I call tomorrow --try on the shorter one, just to see. I'm not sure if it feels too long, but it fits funky. I don't like what it does to my jaw & teeth (and tongue).
    Thanks again!
    Meghan

     
    Old 04-08-2008, 06:09 PM   #4
    Wymom94
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    Re: cervical collar question

    I went back in to see the Orthotist today and he fiddled w/ me and the collar, then said I am a long-tall collar size, and that I was tightening the brace too much, and just not use to the feel of it under my jaw -that the clenched teeth and such was just b/c the brace pushes my jaw shut some (less so when I don't tighten it like crazy). He said the brace isn't suppose to be super tight, that it's okay to fit a hand up the backside of it and have room to move my head a little --so long as the front of it keeps my chin from dropping or slipping inside. I can drop my chin inside only if I work really hard at it. He said the brace is a support, not a confinement of all movement like a head brace. So, I went to my dentist afterward and got fitted for a mouth guard to wear with my neck brace (b/c of the clenched teeth and my fear of biting into or through my tongue while sleeping in the brace). I needed a new mouth guard for night clenching anyway (dropped my old one on the floor just after my husband cleaned the litter box, but hadn't swept up the area yet --and it got kitty litter all over it.... threw that one away). So, I guess that's that. I just wasn't use to how a neck brace is suppose to feel and how it causes you to clench your teeth.
    Meghan

     
    Old 04-08-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
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    Re: cervical collar question

    Wow, I never had the teeth clenching thing with mine - but the Aspen is a different design. And yes, the collar was a bit less confining that I had thought as it fit more loosely then I imagined.
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    Old 04-08-2008, 06:46 PM   #6
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    Re: cervical collar question

    Hi - a few things to add. Once you get your neck fixed you will probably be a little longer in the neck after they spread out the space and put the bone/plate in. This will probably give you just a little more room. After wearing these type braces multiple times for months at a time, I found once the initial surgery swelling goes down it became more comfortable. After daily wear for a couple weeks I personally found that it was more comfy when tightened up a bit. You will adjust to that feeling in your jaw. You should be sitting up on top of it and not buried down within it - which is what would probably happen if you went down to the medium.

    PS - hints 1) If you didn't get a second set of pads you should get some. It helps to have a spare pair to alternate as you wash them because this time of year they do become a little more sweaty. another thing, even with the pads it may rub you raw a couple spots. My chin was constantly irritated for a few weeks until my skin got used to the collar. Go to fabric store and buy a little piece of some very soft, lightweight, fuzzy material to help line those spots if you get them. It will make you tons more comfy.

     
    Old 04-08-2008, 07:11 PM   #7
    pattymelt
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    Re: cervical collar question

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wymom94 View Post
    I picked up my cervical collar for post-op today (surgery is days away now). After I got it home, I wore it to see how I manage in the kitchen/house w/ it as advised, and I have a question now (will call the Orthotist tomorrow, but wanted to ask here now). Are you suppose to be biting your tongue in it? When I have it loose, it doesn't feel fully supportive, but when I tighten it, I bite my tongue, clench my teeth, and almost feel as if my head is swelling -like I've cut the blood flow. Have I just not found that perfect loose-tight spot, is this just how it is (biting-the-tongue-tight or more-movement-than-expected-loose), or is this the wrong size or type for me maybe? I was measured, then fitted by the Orthotist and he said this is my size. Is it just strange to adjust to? I was a little worried that I'd mess up my teeth/jaw wearing this for even a full day, let alone many days or even weeks post-op --or bite my tongue during the night (seriously). I'd love input from others who have worn the Miami J cervical collar or a similar one --please, thanks.
    Meghan
    p.s. --my tongue still feels weird w/ it off now and I didn't wear it THAT long.
    I had three level anterior and posterior discectomies with metal cage four years ago. I had to wear the Miami J neck collar for 12 weeks and I did get used to it. I had no trouble like you describe with biting my tongue or any other problems. I had discectomies with bone graft from C3 through C6. I relied so many times on encouragement from these boards and I am sure posting here and reading the other posts helped me tremendously. Perhaps your collar is not the right size. I wore the Miami J brace and still wear the soft foam collar as I still suffer from degenerative arthritis of the spine and it helps support my neck and feels comfortable. Good luck with your surgery. I realize how scary it is, but I am so glad I had it done.

     
    Old 04-08-2008, 10:12 PM   #8
    erin72
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    Re: cervical collar question

    I have an upcoming revisions surgery ACDF C5/6 in May. This time I will be wearing a c-collar. I have not been fitted or even approached by my surgeon about getting fitted for one. Do I need to call and make an appt. for this? Should I practice wearing one before surgery? I didn't wear one for my first surgery, so I don't really know what to expect (other than what I've read about on this site)!

    Any advice?
    Erin

     
    Old 04-09-2008, 08:12 AM   #9
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    Re: cervical collar question

    You can ask your doctor if you can be fitted before. From what I have seen here there are some surgeons/hospitals that choose the collar during the operation and supply it to you in the OR. Either way your insurance is charged for it.
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