Discussions that mention valium

Spinal Cord Disorders board


i'm wondering about wearing the cervical collar after surgery.

first of all, my doc is saying i'll only be in a soft collar for two weeks after a 2-level acdf. that seems pretty minimal compared to most of what i've heard and read. pt says my doc is one with the opinion of "you can do whatever you feel like as soon as you feel like it after surgery". does that sound.....safe? i have my first post-op check 10 days after surgery and he says i'll be driving as soon as the collar is gone.

second, i'm the kind of person who can't stand to wear anything close around my neck. a turtleneck will give me fits, feel like i'm suffocating. so, honestly, how much worse is a collar - hard or soft - going to be? should i be looking into the effects of valium of xanax?

thanks, all. appreciate the input.
More and more doctors recently are not placing their patients in collars of any type if only a few levels are being fused. I did not wear one at all and had no issues post op but it did freak me out at first.
When I questioned my doctor as to why I would not be in one (assumming everyone had to wear a collar) he said that studies showed that individuals heal faster without one as the use of a collar can cause weakness of the neck muscles over time. He also said that many patients, like you, feel as though they are being suffocated by the collar and would simply prefer not to wear one at all. The hardware that is implanted will keep things in place on their own (or should).

I lost very little range of motion and had 4 levels done but of course I do attribute that to physical therapy and getting my muscles back in shape.

As far as Valium or Xanex is concerned (I'm assuming this is what he may give post op as opposed to actual pain medication?) they were originally developed for anxiety but it was found they actually help quite well to relax muscles. You won't want to drive or drink any alcohol while taking them and they can make you drowsy depending on dosage. They are fine to take for short term usage. I was on pain medication post op and found the first week to be the roughest but was much better in terms of how I felt pre-op. It all gets better with time.

Good luck on your surgery I hope it is sucessful for you.
Quote from ember919:
first of all, my doc is saying i'll only be in a soft collar for two weeks after a 2-level acdf. that seems pretty minimal compared to most of what i've heard and read. pt says my doc is one with the opinion of "you can do whatever you feel like as soon as you feel like it after surgery". does that sound.....safe? i have my first post-op check 10 days after surgery and he says i'll be driving as soon as the collar is gone.

second, i'm the kind of person who can't stand to wear anything close around my neck. a turtleneck will give me fits, feel like i'm suffocating. so, honestly, how much worse is a collar - hard or soft - going to be? should i be looking into the effects of valium of xanax?

thanks, all. appreciate the input.

I'm also the type to feel suffocated (medicated for my MRI). I'd share my feelings with the doc and see what he/she thinks. Although, I'm on day 20 and the soft collar hasn't been a problem. I'd really like to rip the thing off and move on with things, though. I've been instructed to wear mine for at least another 10 days.

Looking over the boards, one thought in particular continues to spin through my mind. A surgery is big thing to go through, emotionally as well as physically. Before long, one can begin to correlate anything and everything to a surgery.

People with no health problems will have pain in the next month, some will even slip in the tub and break their necks.

Remember, the rooster doesn't make the sun come up. ;)