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  • PT after neck brace comes off

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    Old 08-12-2003, 11:27 AM   #1
    fkissam
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    Post PT after neck brace comes off

    I would like to compare some notes about physical therapy after the neck brace comes off.

    I had ACD 2 level discectomy with bone fusion and titanium. It is now 11 weeks postop.

    On a routine basis, my doctor releases this type of patient after about 11 weeks. That means the hard cervical brace comes off. The surgeon then instructed me to feel free to move my head side to side within the range of comfort?

    I have a few questions:
    ()Should I actively pursue and exercise the neck side to side within the comfortable motion range?

    ()Then I want the action plan. Is it to increase side to side motion a tiny bit? After increasing the motion for a while, then start adding isometric pressure with an opposing hand? Then later down the road start adding upward and downward motion to the head? Then finally add a little isometric pressure with opposing hand to the upward / downward motion?

    ()My layman concern is that the isometric pressure will lessen the bone fusion or maybe dislodge the titanium plate? Is that ridiculous or reality-based?

    Does this sound reasonable? Is there anything to add or warn about?

     
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    Old 08-12-2003, 11:36 AM   #2
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    I started PT as soon as the neck brace came off. It started with the side to side movement and back and forward movement (if I remember correctly it was ten times forward, ten times to the left, ten times back and ten times to the right - three times a day. All done until you felt pressure (not forcing it - more motion comes with time). The tension (using the hand for pressure) did not come until I was comfortable doing the first ones.

    Are you going to a physical therapist or are you doing it on your own. I would advise, if you can that you at least visit a terapist to get the proper procedures and also they may be able to give you some other neck strengthening exercises.

    As far as moving the plate or bone - I don't think that will happen unless you forcefully move the head and it is not likely you would do that. You need to just be careful. Also the plate is not that easy to dislodge - I thought I moved or damaged mine earlier this year (about 9 months after the fusion) when I stood up in my bedroom (I have very low ceilings in some parts) and hit my head on the ceiling (I figure I put about 200 lbs. - my weight - of pressure in an upward motion and come to a dead stop when hitting the ceiling). I visited my surgeon and he did xrays and said the plate was fine - but an MRI showed I had herniated another disc and they figure I also compressed a nerve which goes into the left arm.

    So my advise would be take it slow and easy - gradually adding more to the turns.

    [This message has been edited by more (edited 08-12-2003).]

     
    Old 08-12-2003, 11:55 AM   #3
    fkissam
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    Thank you for your GREAT and complete advice.

    My PT dollars have been exhausted, but I still plan on going to a PT appointment next week.

    What do you mean by rotating the neck FORWARD? OR What do you mean BACKWARD? Are you referring to moving the neck/head UPWARD?

    Please do help clarify for me.

    Thank you again for your help.

     
    Old 08-12-2003, 01:19 PM   #4
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    I mean bend forward (chin to chest) of course not all the way - just till you feel it. Backwards I mean looking up to the ceiling.

    One of the other exercises I had was tilting the head so your ear goes toward your shoulder (of course I could never do this - it was one of the measurements the therapist kept taking and I don't think it ever got better).

    Good luck and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

     
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