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  • How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

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    Old 02-19-2009, 05:35 PM   #1
    Jema X
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    How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Hi guys,

    i'm getting a bit confused and worried here - my surgeon has told me that I have to wear the collar for 12 weeks! Hard one during the day and soft one at night...this sounds awful. I'm reading that heaps of people only need one for a few weeks or so. Is there anyone else that has been told 12 weeks? I'm having a titanium cage put in and a bone graft (possibly from hip) but seriously, 12 weeks sounds excessive. Just wondering what other people here have experienced.
    Thanks

     
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    Old 02-19-2009, 06:02 PM   #2
    jennybyc
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    I had 7 weeks with a hard brace and 5-7 weeks with the soft. I had x-rays at 5 weeks and that's why he said I could take it off at 7....otherwise he said 12 weeks too. I guess it depends on how many vertebrae are being fused and how. I have titanium rods and 20 screws that are movable along the rods. Forget what it's called.

    But I'll tell you, I got to like my brace and didn't want to take it off after 7 weeks and I still used it at night. It was like a security blanket. It goes fast so don't sweat it.

    gentle hugs..........Jenny

     
    Old 02-19-2009, 10:16 PM   #3
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Hey don't feel bad and do what surgeon tells you - this is your shot to get it right and feel better soon! Your case could be different, depending on the extent of surgery or surgeon preference. Most of the people that have single levels don't wear a collar or if they do only for a short time. I had a multi-level ACDF and wore hard collar for 12 weeks and no soft collar at all. To tell you the truth I needed it all the way to the end. I could tell when I no longer needed it. What is your surgery? I had extensive bone shaving/drilling and lots of work in there. It does go by fast after you adjust to it.

     
    Old 02-20-2009, 01:26 AM   #4
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Thanks heaps neckpatient and Jenny, I'm only having single level C5\6 but there's a fair bit of cord compression & I'll probably need a bone graft from my hip. He said he's being ultra careful because of my age and because I have a badly damaged thoracic. I've had 1 thoracic surgery & may need trans thoracic soon, so - think he's trying to not to overload that area too. I guess I'm just nervous and I'n scared the brace will be uncomfortable. Thanks heaps for your thoughts, it really helps.

     
    Old 02-20-2009, 04:11 AM   #5
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    I am a 12 wker to. I had trouble with my first collar,it was to big for me, but with this smaller one believe or not I actually managed to get use to it. At least to the point I am not constantly doing battle with it. I never thought I would say that. I can take it off at night soon but I sleep like a wild women so that has me nervous.
    I realize every surgeon different & I am assuming that although we may have the same surgery our pre existing & recovery are different from one anothers.
    Take care, Sammy

     
    Old 02-20-2009, 04:23 AM   #6
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Hi, I have to wear the hard collar (vista aspen) for 4weeks and 2 days then I have x-rays to see the progress and if all goes as planned, I'll go into a soft collar (for 8 weeks)and be able to drive. I have lived with alot of pain for 5 years, so 4 weeks and 2 days seems very short for a "sucessfull" outcome. From all the research I have done, 50% of the outcome is the surgeon' skill and the other 50% is patient compliance with restrictions. I had c4-c7 fused with donor bone and plate/8 screws. Can't wait to see the pictures...

    Last edited by want a good out; 02-20-2009 at 04:24 AM. Reason: added more content about self

     
    Old 02-20-2009, 05:14 AM   #7
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Wow, good out, that sounds like major stuff. I had OP1 (donor matter) with my thoracic surgery & that was kind of weird. I think my cervical fusion is pretty standard - a titanium cage, screws, a bit of hip graft & he's done. Thanks for your advice, especially regarding the compliance stuff - it's a good reminder that it's worth doing right first time around. It's just frustrating because my thoracic surgery was very risky & painful but this is almost scarier because of the redtrictions. I'm going to ask if I can have xrays like you so that I can maybe ditch the hard collar a bit earlier. Thanks again & good luck, wish you could post the pics

     
    Old 02-20-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Well there you go - with that pre-existing thoracic stuff you will benefit from that extra cervical support. I have some issues in thoracic too but no surgery for me I manage it by injections and I hope it continues that way because it sounds scary.

    This one will be a piece of cake compared to the thoracic one you had but . So relax and ask to get that collar pre-fitted before your surgery, you will be thankful to have that all worked out before and not end up having to deal with an ill -fitting collar when you don't feel good like Sammy had to.

    Good thoughts your way. NP

     
    Old 02-21-2009, 04:29 AM   #9
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Thanks NP, I'll find out about having the collar fitted but I think they do it in hospital after the surgery. Am feeling less stressed about it now, it really helps to get advice from others. Conservative management is definitely the way to go with thoracic stuff - there's just so much that can go wrong in such a tight space & there is almoat always lingering post surgical pain. Most of mine has gone now, just constant, life changing nerve pain. Statistics say that of all discs herniated only 1 in 100000 is in the thoracic region. Another good reason to avoid surgery- the surgeons don't tend to do many of them. May I ask what your issues are NP? Thanks again

     
    Old 02-21-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Hi Juliet31 - In the states you can get pre-fitted for the collar not sure about where you live - you might check on it. I have problems in cervical, thoracic and lumbar. Bascially all combinations of stuff from congenital stenosis, to bone spurs, to herniations, to nerve impingement, spinal cord compression, to slipping , except tumors or cancers thank goodness! I have spent the last 5 years reading and studying the spine and these conditions - but there is nothing like real life patient experiences and sharing!! Thanks for being on this forum supporting each other! I need it from time to time and this last couple months I have been on the decline again. Two steps forward, one back as they say.

    I live in pain daily and go to pain management - I never thought all this would happen to me and really have an appreciation for people who have suffered their entire life. At least mine didn't start until I hit my 40s. My summary story is here if you want to read it. [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=672957[/url]

    Last edited by PNo; 02-21-2009 at 06:32 PM.

     
    Old 02-22-2009, 04:13 AM   #11
    Jema X
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    Re: How long has your surgeon said to wear the collar for post cervical fusion pls

    Hey NP, I'd be honoured to read your story - it helps to be able to share. I haven't posted my story - if you look through my past posts, I actually joined the boards because of a liver tumour. Those ladies that I met are now some of my closest friends, these boards are awesome. I'm going to ring around about braces tomorrow - knowing what hospitals are like, I definitely don't want them choosing it! You're very brave NP, don't give up ok. I feel much more positive about the cervical stuff than I do the thoracic styff because I know they an fix it. We'll just have to hope that technology gets better for thoracic injuries a little quicker. Thanks so much for your support NP

     
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