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    Old 03-15-2009, 06:07 AM   #1
    sammyo1
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    Recovery with collar vs without

    Hey all, I am just wondering if anyone has an opinion on wearing a cervical collar vs recovering without a collar. I would be interested to see how those without the collars did, especially the first couple weeks of postop. I could not imagine how it would have felt without one following surgery. I know my neck felt really weak after. It was tough getting used to the collar but I am kind of glad I had it now. I am out of the collar at night & alittle during the day & the most I have had is a headache acouple mornings. The transaction was much easier then I thought it would be.
    Nicole74 has no collar postop & has had a rough time.
    Any opinions? Thanks, Sammy

     
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    Old 03-15-2009, 07:44 AM   #2
    cjlivinlife
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    sammyo1
    I have had a soft collar for 3.5 weeks now and had to wear it all the time at first except when I took a shower I could take it off. Even though it made it tough to sleep on my back at night I think the collar helped me not move around. After 3 weeks I have been taking it off as I sit in the chair and walk around a bit so my muscles don't get too weak. I go back to dr next week at 4 weeks and hope to get it off forever but maybe that is a dream. I think it is usually at 6 weeks.
    My surgeon said the collar was mainly to remind me not to move my head and neck around so the fusion and bone graft could take hold. Seems like every doctor is different with the collar hard vs. soft vs. none.
    Good luck and hang in there.

     
    Old 03-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
    want a good out
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    I wore a hard collar for 4 weeks and the recovery in it was not bad at all. I recently graduated to a soft collar and still will put the hard one on as the muscle spasms are pretty rough. They send burning pain down my computer arm. LOL. I slept in the hard one last night and did good. I was toold to continue the muscle relaxers though. I think I'm glad I have that hard collar to fall back on...
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    Old 03-16-2009, 12:41 AM   #4
    captnanny
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    Well, I had the hard collar for four weeks after both surgeries. The first one the went in through the front, ACDF and I felt like I needed the hard collar because of the muscle spasms in my neck. When I went to the soft collar it was the same but I got used to it pretty quickly.
    This second time around they did a posterior fusion with laminectomy and the collar hurt me more. At first it was the scar, then it felt like I was just not wearing it right or having much more pain than with it off. My doc said I could take it off during resting periods but to be honest I rested a lot just so I could have the hard collar off.
    He put me in the soft collar and basically said to work my way into it. So I have had two completely different experiences with the collars. I guess it does mean that not only are the doc's different but we differ at different times as well.
    I don't understand why I had such a hard time in the collar this time around.

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
    Nicole74
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    It looks like I'm one of the very few people who do not have a collar after surgery. Not even a soft collar. I did ask for one just so I felt better when I was asleep, but the surgeon said no. Right now I have wicked muscle spasms and I still have horrible pain in the back of my neck and also pain that shoots down my arm. I hope this pain is only tempoary, but it seems to be worse after moving around a bit. Only being 2 weeks post op my neck is very stiff and is not very easy to move. I'm finding it very hard at night to find a comfortable spot to sleep in.

     
    Old 03-21-2009, 01:32 AM   #6
    Bobbyboo
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    I had no collar and I think I am doing ok. I just felt normal without it, neck strength and movement wise although I did experience some shooting pains and cramps in the first couple of weeks post op. These still come on occasionally but are a lot less. I am now around 6 weeks post op and had my review consultant appointment last week. He seems very happy with my progress although he is not going to take an X-ray until my next appt in 3 months time so I have no way of really knowing how fusion is going.

    I am back after a week's holiday before I start work again on Monday. I did some walking along the North Coast of Antrim including the Giant's Causeway although my lower back gave me lots of problems.

    Sammy, I know you mentioned in a previous post that you were concerned with regard to your lumbar region also and now that the neck problems are abating I am more aware of my problems in that area also. I feel like a hypochondriac but I have low back, pelvic/hip pain and numbness in both legs/feet/toes and know that something just isn't right. I asked for a lumbar MRI and my consultant agreed so I am just awaiting the results. I will post these on the back pain board when I hear from him.
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    Old 03-21-2009, 02:01 AM   #7
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    I wonder if the Dr whom will not prescribe the collar has found that people will rest more if they are in pain from not having one??? Just a thought as I felt pretty darn good with the hard collar and it was hard to not do anything...
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    Old 03-21-2009, 04:23 AM   #8
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    Actually WGO I wondered the same. I probably would have rested just just abit more without the collar. I am glad I had it though.
    BB, Yes I have some lumbar issues. I dont think its uncommon for have C & L Problems at all, at least that is what my surgeon said.
    The surgeon asked me what area was giving me the most pain & thats the area he tackled first. My lumbar is not near as painful thank goodness, thus far. My left hip & leg is effected so far but I am not having any surgery there until I cant stand it anymore. I hope. Take care everyone, Sam

     
    Old 03-21-2009, 04:43 AM   #9
    Nicole74
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    Being 2 1/2 weeks post op, I find myself resting quite a bit. The longest stretch I'm up is when I walking on the treadmill.

    Sammy, I have had another migraine since last night. ugh. Not sure what is causing me to still have migraines. I sure hope they don't continue.

    I'm planning on calling the surgeon on Monday. The pain in my arm and hand is often unbearable at times. I wonder if I'm overdoing it somehow. I don't think I am, but you never know.

     
    Old 03-21-2009, 07:04 AM   #10
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    My Dr. was not happy that I was walking on the treadmill. They said not to walk on it. Just walk on the ground.
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    Old 03-21-2009, 08:26 AM   #11
    feelbad
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    personally,and from my nasty experience WITH even using that collar and still having non fusion(there were many other possible reasons for my particular non fusion)i cannot believe that any good surgeon would allow any patient to not have the best possible chance at fusion by using what is basically a splint that simply helps to hold those very important bone ends together for the best chances to have them attach to one another. its no different really than like breaking your arm and not having that splint or actual cast that gives the patient the best chances of those bones fusing back together,you know what i mean?

    pretty much everytime a person who is trying to fuse bone ends together actually overly rotates the neck, which also changes where the bone endplates are sitting, they lose what could have been some level of real attachement that was starting. once that changes in even a small way you are basically starting over again with trying to reattach what got pulled out of alignment. that collar just increases the overall chances of a good fusion by keeping the bone ends properly aligned and giving that area a chance to really attacth itself and fuse. unless you have actually had hardware placed,which would also be a good way to simply "splint' the area,it really just boggles my mind as to why any good and knowledgable surgeon could possibly even think that the no collar thing is just a really "good" idea,ya know?

    nicole, you had every right to ask and demand one from your surgeon, really. it is not HIS c spine in jeopardy here but yours,ya know? i just will never ever understand any "logic" behind the surgeons thinking in this at all. did your surgeon happen to mention to you when you asked to have onem,just why not using one could even be a good idea, or did he just force this on you without any real logic thinking behind it? it is simply in the best interest of his patients to do this one thing for the best possible shot at fusion,thats all. i really have to wonder just what the real true average ratio is with using a collar vs non use and the overall fusion rate vs non fusion. in my personaL opionion, it just seems so crazy to not use one when it is not at all difficult to just do this for a patient.

    sammy,by the by, for some insane reason that we are trying to actually figure out between me and the admin, my PM is all wonkey and keeps giving me "i do not have permission to access this page" for the past day and a half now(cannot acess my pm settings at all right now). all i did was clear my folder since it was full, and everything went nuts. so just incase you were trying to pm, its not going to get there. hopefully once she gets ahold of the webmaster, it will all be fixed. but it is a freaking mess right now and we don't have a clue as to why yet. i did manage to get your morning message yesterday, but after that, it went crazy on me, so that one did get thru. i will keep ya posted as things become available hon. Marcia
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    Old 03-21-2009, 09:48 AM   #12
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    If she does "demand" anything from her Dr., she risks changing the relationship with that Dr. Some have HUGE egos (as I'm sure you are aware) and I can tell you from personal experience that they DO treat "problem patients" accordingly. Not only have I seen this occur several times where I work and have worked, but have also had it happen to me. She needs to be careful and maintain the relationship with him/her to get the best possible care. He has his reasons from his experience in practice and she could ask him what they are.
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    Old 03-21-2009, 10:52 AM   #13
    Nicole74
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    I'm not a demanding type of person, nor have I ever been a problem patient(that I'm aware of). I wait until the last minute before calling, usually when I'm to the point that I can't handle it anymore. I seem to be in that same position again where I can't seem to handle the pain. My arm pain is quite severe and it feels so weak too. I sat in a wrong position today and I got the most horrific pain in back my neck on the left side(it(the pain was so severe, it took my breath away). I really can't explain it, but thankfully it is gone now. I'm planning to report the pain and weakness on Monday. I'm unsure if this is normal healing or not. I try not to think about it, as I wonder if I'm over reacting?

     
    Old 03-21-2009, 07:25 PM   #14
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    I hope those pains are normal as I get them too. I'm 5 weeks out and 1 week out of a hard collar and 1 week in a soft collar. I was in a pool today (not swimming, just wading) with my shower collar on and felt pretty good in that collar. I bet I looked funny though. I was told the pain I feel at times was related to muscle spasms and sometimes have trouble believing they are just from muscle spasms. The pain goes down my arms along the nerves. Horrrific indeed! Thank god my Dr. believes in muscle relaxers and if I rest with neck muscles resting the pain does subside. I get to test these muscles friday when I start PT. I hope I don't have pain thet I have to call about. We'll see. Please post back on what they tell you about your pain.
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    Old 03-22-2009, 04:46 AM   #15
    sammyo1
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    Re: Recovery with collar vs without

    WoW Wantagoodout your moving right along there. I am setting up PT soon. Couple wks. Good luck & be careful. I have alot of pain in my left arm & shoulder. My surgeon said it could be the muscles to. I still get some tingling in fingers but oddly enough it the right hand usually.

    Nicole sweetie that is to bad & I am really getting angry on your behalf here.
    Its hard to say what is normal & whats not. Have you seen any improvement in any area at all? Perhaps if you tell this surgeon you are really worried about these headaches & you feel any movement makes them worse, could you try the soft collar even just during the day? Tell him you are just at the point you feel you have to try something. Then perhaps call your PM & set up an appointment. You can tell the PM you are concerned with these pain levels & your future here. Have you had you fusion xrayed? If so did the surgeon say how it looks? Surgeons do not treat pain long at all & you will need your PM to see you through this. I wonder what the PMs opinion would be on this no collar thing. I have heard people say they did not feel relief for 6mths or more, so we have to keep that in mind.

    You may have to rest more. I mean doing nothing. I was worse 6-8wks then 2wks postop. I had to rest most of the time or every little thing set off my pain level. I still have to rest but am finding I can do alittle more in between. I still have alot of pain & know I could not make it with out my meds. I hate the thought of you having those headaches, out of it all those scare me the most. At this point I dont see what it would hurt to try a collar. EVen before surgery when my headaches started the surgeon said to put the collar on. I am really frustrated for you. Marcia is right in saying the surgeon should consider this, its your fusion & your the one suffering. I dont care you have the right to try something to get some relief here. Please let us know what is said monday. When is your next appointment? Your husband may have to back you up come that next one, voice his concerns right along with yours.
    Please let me know what is said.

    I will keep an eye out for your PM, I did not really notice any problems with mine other then the folders have to be cleared often. I will give it a try here soon.
    God bless all & good luck Nicole, Sammy

     
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