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    Old 01-12-2009, 11:49 AM   #1
    sammyo1
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    Brand of cervical collar

    Ok everyone, what a mess. Took my collar in & they did not want to give me a new one because insurance already paid for this one & would not pay for another so they modified this one. Its worse, I dont feel the support & it allows me alot more movement so of course now I am scared. They said the surgeon should have had me measured before & that ASpen does not make a smaller one (no extra small) & peds would never fit. Also mentioned I would may have had to go with another brand. So now for all you petite or small women what brand collar do or did you have? I swear I am so upset. I have been told so many different things on the phone, like that is should not come up to the ears as far yet the gentlemen who modified it said it was fine. My husband & I spent hrs going from one location to another. I know its to big & will have to call the surgeon & see what can be done. My husband said the surgeon should have to eat the cost of this one sicne he made the mistake as did the medical supply. I can turn my head far more now & feel like its not supported in the back. I am nervous about sleeping now. I will try it for the today but I doubt it will work. Anyone else have problems with the Aspen?
    I really need some help here. Thanks Sammy

     
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    Old 01-13-2009, 08:59 AM   #2
    feelbad
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    oh geez,what next??? that is so incredibly stupid. they should just make the surgeon eat this,that i totally agree on. thats just crazy when you consider what that collar is supposed to do for you. sammy,i had the miami J collar and they DO make a peds,i wore it. it was most definitely a peds collar and it was from the miami J "collection" of c collars,and was about as comfy as you could possibly get with any real c collar. i cannot even imagine how in gods name they could "modify" anything like that when it is simply way too big to start with. what would your out of pocket cost be if you had to but this outright? i know they can be pretty spendy. i wish i could send mine to you right now,its been sitting up in my closet now for years.

    i seriously would speak with your surgeon about getting the RIGHT collar for you at this point. it is not helping you,it feels unstable,it is giving you MORE pain and problems than it was before they "modified it,and it IS simply a medical NEED that needs his attention. i would demand that he simply do the right thing here sammy. he is the one who placed the wrong one on you in the first place. i would think,with HIS backing to the insurance co that he could manage to get around what the ins co told you,ya know what i mean? surgeons can do amazing things for patients when they want to. they DO have some pull with the orthotic places too since they do give them tons of business. i would try every angle at this point hon just to get a very real medical need met. you just should be the one to have to suffer here. not after everything else you have been thru. i really would speak up to your surgeon and just see what HE can get done for you,with the orthotics place and the ins co. you just need this. i DO feel for you sammy. please keep me posted hon. marcia
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    Old 01-13-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Well Sammy first of all it will be ok. You did get plating in there right? There are two schools of thought about collar or no collar. They have done extensive studies and found similar outcome both ways. It is really surgeon preference. We have heard from many people that didn't wear collars and they were fine! Of course we want you to wear the collar if you doctor says to, so it is so stupid how this was handled.

    Sorry this is long, I tried to get info for you.

    I didn't wear aspen I wore miami J and it was very adjustable and good in fit for me, I have a very short neck and small shoulders and they were able to get it just right . I wasn't familiar with aspen so I looked it up on the internet and found info that you should be able to find easily with the fit and instruction sheets. It actually looks similar to my collar. THere are 5 sizes in peds but it says up to age 6 - so maybe the fitter just assumed you wouldn't fit instead of actually trying it on you?

    I am wondering if they replaced the back on yours to a small. All their collars come with a standard back, but it can be changed out for better fit.

    Lastly, the collar isn't going to completely immobilize you, there will be a little movement in there. Your chin should be flush with the end of the collar chin piece, and it feels like you kind of sit inside it, the back might be a little tall and feel like it is overwhelming but can be changed to a small. Have hubby measure your neck, I am curious is it less than 12"? There shouldn't be lots of slack in the back, and your straps should be all the way tight. I remember my sides overlapping quite a bit to get it snug. To tell you the truth it did take several weeks for me to get it just right. If doctor wanted complete immobilization you would be with screws in your skull in a halo brace, ya know!! You don't want to completely rely on the collar or your neck muscles are going to be pretty weak when you get out of it-try to make your muscles hold your neck up.

    If you still feel it doesn't fit why don't you make a call to your insurance claims customer service line and talk to them. Certainly, they shouldn't want you wearing an incorrectly fitted device that would hinder your recovery (and future costs to them?)

    Hang in! NP

     
    Old 01-14-2009, 02:25 AM   #4
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Sammy
    I know exactly how you feel. I can not believe they at least did not give you the short adult. I had to regular one in the hospital as i posted earlier and then my doc gave me the smaller adult. I was in the neurosurgeons office yesterday and what do ya know, an aspen rep person came right in to speak to my doc. He was too busy but I sure stopped him. He said they do not make peds, the pads are all the same size and mine looked ok. He did try to find one with a smaller back in his car but there were none. My doc said that it looked fine to him too. I feel like it's still too big. I am almost a month out, how long are you? I know week two I started taking it off when I was just lying down.
    How is your pain level? I am having a very hard time controlling mine.

     
    Old 01-14-2009, 06:13 AM   #5
    sammyo1
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Thanks everyone, I did measure at the med supply & it was slightly to big, they said. The short did not fit either. According to them the Aspen is used alot.

    I woke up this morning with my head turned at a degree that scared me & I am sore as all get out. They did want me to come in to see if they could modify it some more, foget it. I cant see how that will work. The surgeon said he doubted they could modify it to so we will see. lets see if he remembers saying that. The medical supply could have given me a new on based on my surgery date they just chose not to. Although the surgeon gave me the collar in nov, my surgery was not till Dec 26.
    They called to see if I would come back in to see about modifying if some more, I just could not be bothered. My sister passed away & I am struggling all the way around right now, I really am out of patience. I am majorly upset with all of this. I am ready to blow up here. The guy who did the modification made it sound like it was just me. He said its not suppose to be comfortable you know. Well is it suppose to be painful? Is it suppose to support? He told me to put padding where it hurts me. me
    Mar, we did ask the price for a new one he said "you dont want to know". My husband was pretty upset. The second sales guy made it sound like the Aspen was used all the time & I was the only one who ever had problems with it. Although it goes under the chin more it feels like there is no support in the back since he modified it. If I tighten it to get some support its painful & there is not alot of velcro holding it in the front at all.

    I am not even sure how a proper fit should feel. I can turn my head alot more if I want vs before it was modified & thats exacty what I did in my sleep, I can also tilt my head back pretty much all the way vs before so who knows. Is this normal? Is it suppose to come up to the ears all the way? I am really confused here. I will do some looking online.


    Capt where is your pain & how is it vs before surgery? I can feel some of the old symtoms returning & I am praying it goes away. I am sorry your still in so much pain, what does your surgeon say? This friday will be 3wks for me & to be honest I am getting more pain & muscle spasms, god I hope this is normal. I know I gave up a couple days & laid in bed. I was tempted to rip the thing off yesturday, my mood was not good,lol. I can deal with alot but the chest pain & spasms had me so depressed, the one thing I wanted gone.
    Thank god for you all, I am not sure what I'll do, I was so upset yesturday I just laid. I'll let you know. God bless, Sammy

     
    Old 01-14-2009, 01:36 PM   #6
    chablis3
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Sammy, just wanted to say I am so very sorry to hear about your sister. Just had to send a note of condolence. Hope you get that collar straightened out....you sure don't need anymore problems right now. Feel better soon, and plase know I am thinking of you.

    Judy

    PS..my daughter re-broke her hip and just got home from the hospital after her 2nd operation! When it rains, it pours as they say!!

     
    Old 01-15-2009, 02:04 AM   #7
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Sammy,
    I totally understand the feeling of when it rains it pours. I lost my job one week after my surgery. I'm a nanny and have been with them since the oldest was six months old. They are 8 and 6. If I cry the pain in my neck gets too bad so I avoid the whole thing.
    As for the collar, they said you should be able to move a little but I'm not sure about moving your head all the way back. I can tilt mine a little but don't want to. My velcro goes way beyond where the end is. The ends just flap around.
    As for the pain it's pretty much surgery pain, I have a low threshold but the shoulders and back of my neck is pretty bad. Remember they went through the back so I feel like my head is bruised and it hurts.
    I'm so sorry to hear about your sister (?) what a terrrible time for you. I wish I could help you out in some way.

     
    Old 01-15-2009, 05:14 AM   #8
    sammyo1
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    I am sorry chab about your daughter, she has really had it rough. With you as a mom she will do fine. I am really moody, stuck here in this house recovering. I was planning on flyng out 8wks post op to be with my sister as she lived in Florida. I just did not make it. I have been struggling to come to terms as she & I were really close. She had called me in the hospital the day after my surgery & told me she was planning on me coming. Its breaking my heart. Her husband may come in march for a visit, he is a wonderful man & I am not sure how I will feel when he comes without her. He said he knows I could not make it & how much him & my sister wish I could have been there. I will have to deal with it. I am angry that this problem should have been found long ago & dealt with & then I could have been there for her. She was my rock & I know it will be hard without her. My other sister is trying to be there for me as she knows how I feel, she is in florida to. I am an emotional wreck & feel sorry for my husband.
    Capt I am starting another thread so we can kind of discuss our post op & recovery. I have some concerns. I want to ask you somethings but will do it on the other thread. I just feel exhausted mentally & cant be bothered dealing with this darn collar for now. I am so sorry about your job, I am really fearful for mine & try to keep somewhat involved. That is tough, I feel really bad for you. That is a low blow to loose your job while recovering. I will keep you in my prayers & hang in there.
    Thank you both for caring. Sammy

    Last edited by sammyo1; 01-15-2009 at 06:13 AM.

     
    Old 01-15-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
    feelbad
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    god sammy,i am SO sorry to hear about your sisters passing. that has to be a tough one,espescially with everything else you are dealing with too. my heart goes out to you and your family hon. i am sorry that you were not able to actually get down there either. she knew i am sure what your situation was/is and did understand. now you have an angel up there looking out for you. sorry i don;t have the time right now to say anything else,got to take my son to the doc in a bit,but just wanted to give my sympathies. hang in there sweetie,hopefully you will be able to get things situated the right way soon. thinking of you hon,Marcia

     
    Old 01-16-2009, 05:25 AM   #10
    sammyo1
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Thanks Marcia, I will have to get over this anger at what this has cost me. Its hard. I keep thinking if only this would have been found long ago. Oddly enough the cervical was the first dx but then it was ruled out because of the MRI not showing enough.
    The rehab. doctor was tempted to do the discogram or myel (cant remember the exact names) I keep thinking if he had it may have been found. That was over a year ago.

    I am just really in a bad mood. I told my husband I dont get it, why everything has to be so hard, you know, even down to getting the right collar.
    One of the med stores I called said by just describing how this one fits its wrong. Pretty much what you said it should not come that far up & touch the ears & so on. So I am not sure what to think. Its not like I have ever been through this. I just dont have the energy to deal with it all right now & I am not sure how to procede from here.
    I did some looking on the net & it sounds like there are some collars that are more adjustable & aspen makes one. As with everything I am sure its the cost. If you think about it your average small adult is not our size so makes sense that the small does not fit. I wish I had the energy to deal with it but I just dont. I dont trust the med. supply due to the way they treated me. For gosh sakes the guy could not even remember he took the back of the collar into another room to work on, thats pretty bad. My surgeon said he doubted they could modify it enough I hate to think he will conviently forget he said that. Thus far I really like him. Perhaps when I am out that way for my PM appointment I will take another ride to the med supply or give them a call. The surgeons office should have called me not just them. I will also see what the insurance says. My back is really bothering me & I am curious to see what my PM says. I have had it with doctors blowing off my concerns. The last visit to him he really disappointed me by not really listeniing about my increase in pain. Honest to god I did not think I would make it. We will see how he reacts when he hears how bad it was when the surgeon got in there. I am really loosing faith in doctors. As I said in my other post my balance was so bad this morning I was walking like I was drunk, dont know if its a combo of this & my lower back but to be honest it scared me somewhat. We will see, any suggestions on how to deal with this collar issue? I could try to just live with it but honestly its tough.
    Talk to you soon. Sammy

     
    Old 01-23-2009, 07:45 PM   #11
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    I was fit for my aspen pre-op. I took it home and tried to wear it and it felt too long. I went back the next day and indeed they re-measured and I needed the "standard" not the "long". But, this was pre-surgery so they just swapped it out for a new one. If someone measured you wrong they should be responsible for the error. I think of it like this - if you broke your arm and they casted it - and 4 hours later your fingers were turning blue they'd take it off and put a new cast on - so they should do the same with the collar.
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    Old 01-25-2009, 08:48 AM   #12
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Hi Sammy,

    I have been through 3 neck surgeries, #1 & #3 with a brace -collar post op and #2 w/o anything so I do have some experience. I too am petite like you and have a small neck so after my last surgery in 2008, my doc put me in a brace called a SOMI. When I fist saw it I thought "OMG, this thing looks scary and there is no way I am going to be able to tolerate it for 12 weeks" but I must say, after spending most of the summer in it, I found it much more comfortable than some of those collars I have had to wear off and on over the years. Its totally adjustable, holds your head and neck very secure and is breathable. You might want to look into seeing if your Doc or the ortho shop would change you into that brace, I found it to be much better than they Aspen or Miami-J.

    Good luck and keep us posted

    Stephanie

     
    Old 01-26-2009, 06:52 AM   #13
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    Thank you both for taking responding.
    I did end up getting a new collar, which ended up being the xs miami J. Its alot more comfortable then the aspen. I am still having some soreness where the aspen caused me some problems. The area where the neck & shoulders meet. The last few days in the aspen I really struggled especially when trying to sleep. I am hoping I did not do anything. I kind of stretched & turned it to try to get the pressure off that area. Only I was pretty much still a sleep. Of course it woke me up due to the pain is caused. Every since I have more pain in my neck & some in my hands, mostly right. The gentleman who fit me for the new collar said it may take time to adjust & I may be sore for a while. I hope that is the case. Oddly enough preop most of my pain was left sided, now its on the right. I am hoping its in the muscles. This is really scary not knowing ya know?
    The surgeon gave me the aspen & I was never measured. Live & learn, right.
    I will for just try to count my blessing & be happy for the new collar.
    God bless, Sammy

     
    Old 01-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #14
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    Re: Brand of cervical collar

    quick question hon. which shoulder did you have the rotator done on? i forgot of course. i am still having pain in mine too. i had to go for about a month now without the usual myo release done like i was getting every week for the past how long? i can feel soo much of what had completely gone away for me right now,again. i had a problem getting the NEW referrals at the beginning of the year so i had not seen my myo guy since the 10th of dec, and man does it show. i am also having pain in my opposite too. i know that damage in that one is probably close to what i had in my right one with the tears and other crap. so this may not 'just' be the neck issues right now hon,it could still be the fact that you were never able to just rehab that shoulder properly. if you still do not have your ROMS back,it probably is contributing alot right now. just wanted to give you an idea of what mine is still doing. i am having soft tissue and bone pain along with some joint pain too. and of course my c spine crappy stuff that is just there and progressing again. maybe once this surgery has healed out at some point enough,you can finally do some level of rehab with that shoulder again and not set off a nightmare like before??? just a thought. still hangin in with ya sammy,Marcia
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