Could hard collar cause neck pain following c5-c6 acdf?

Hi.  I had anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (acdf) on 4/30/2020 (c5 - c6) and have been in a hard collar for nearly 3 months… When I take my collar off and move my head left to right there appears to be some slight pain on the back left side of my neck.. It's slight pain but I don't push it out if fear so stop.... because I stop my range of motion is very limited, about half of what I've had before largely due to the pain…

I go to the doctor next week and I'm curious if anyone can tell me if neck pain is coming due to my head being in the collar for such a long time - and this could be simply muscle pain… Or, could this be a sign of a failed fusion...  Please advise



  • Welcome MikeMN66 we’re glad you’re here!

    I had ACDF C4-C7 a little over 2 years ago, I did not wear a hard collar at all, wore a soft collar only while riding in a car, but I had similar pain as you for several months after surgery when turning my head a certain way, after PT things improved greatly.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you read the article Practical Advice for Recovering from Back Surgery on Spine-health? It offers a lot of practical tips around what to expect before, during, and after surgery. You may also want to check out the video How to Prep Your Home for Spine Surgery Recovery, which also has some great tips.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • I also had C5/C6 in Dec 2019. I did not have to wear any type of collar. My neck was definitely very tight for quite some time. Physio and massage really help. I also walk daily on the treadmill. 

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