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Well it is over with......mostly.



  • Hey allen,

    Well depends on how good you are with your mirrors. As someone single it is kind of hard not to do it. So I do cheat to the grocery store around the corner and the drug store two blocks away. But I didn't mention driving on my post op appointment so it got left off the restrictions. But honestly for now I will only go those few places right around here. The key is picking a space that you pull straight out of and don't have to back out of. Then of course relying mostly on the mirrors.

    Before long you will be out of the brace and collar and off to the races per say.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,082
    I had the same experience upon waking from my C5-C7 ACDF. The searing nerve pain was gone. I had some residual pain and numbness that took a while to heal and the tip of my left index finger never felt 100% again (feels a bit numb but no big deal).

    I had an Aspen Collar for 7 weeks. I was actually fearing it as I don't even like turtleneck shirts but actually the collar was reassuring. I knew it kept me in the correct alignment and I wouldn't accidentally bend or turn my neck (like if my husband dropped a cup I wasn't going to whip around to look at the source of the sound and then realize I turned wrong). I was diligent in wearing it for the first 5-6 weeks. At around that time we went to a friends house one evening and I had a sudden feeling of "neck claustrophobia" (I felt that if I didn't take it off we'd have to leave so I could go home, it was an odd feeling). I removed it for dinner but had it back on an hour or so later. But I always wore it when up and about, sleeping, driving, riding in a car, etc. My fear was that I'd fall asleep and my neck would just kind of gently fall to the side and I'd wake up in pain. So wear the collar as much as the doctor prescribes it. If you are like me it has to be worn EXCEPT when in the shower. Thus when you get further along slight breaks from it might be okay (i.e. when eating dinner) but be very careful.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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  • The only problem that I am having wearing them all of the time is that I sweat a lot. The pads get soaked and then my skin starts to break out. I ordered a second set of pads for them but the place sent the wrong ones.

    Haven't had too many other problems except trying to arrange my pillows at night to take the pressure off my neck. If I could figure that out I would be in heaven. Then I wouldn't need a Percocet in the morning. I am down from 2 every 4 hours to 1 in the morning and one at night at bed.

    I might try wearing the soft collar to bed tonight. He said not to wear one to bed, but come 4am, I have to get up because of stiffness. Might try it tonight to see if I can sleep through. I have another pillow arrangement to try as well.

  • Had my first post surgery follow up today. Everything is going fine and they gave me a new collar to wear along with a bone growth stimulator. Scar looks good and not very big or visible. Was given the clearance to drive and weight restriction was raised from 5 pounds to 10 pounds. Otherwise told not to do anything that would strain my neck. Hopefully when I go back in a month that I can go back to work.

  • Sounds like you're doing well, apart from sweating with the collar.

    You'll be so happy now that you can drive again.

    Keep following your doctor's advice and you could very well be ready to go back to work.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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