There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.

This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

See the Veritas Health sites:,,, for medical articles and videos.

5 days post op c5/c6 ACDF

Hi-new to this and could use some advice. 5 days post op with a c5/6 ACDF and swear I can feel the hardware when I swallow. I'm terrified of sleeping because of neck positions, even though I am wearing a soft collar. Was completely blindsided by the pain and had to stay longer in the hospital because of it. Any help would be appreciated!


  • Hi Mick74,
    I can sympathise with your worries, although I only have a cage, not screws (If that's what you mean by hardware). I too have to wear a soft collar 24/7 for 6 weeks and find sleeping a real problem. However I seem to lie, it feels as though it's pulling on my neck! I'm worried that, as I don't have screws to hold the cage in place, then even the slightest wrong movement will destabilise it! I am still waking in the night needing pain relief, although have not really had problems swallowing or talking.
    Hope you get some advice soon - how soon before you see your doctor?
    Thinking of you, are you US or UK based? I'm in UK (Nottingham- hence the NOTTS Countyfan) :)
  • US based. See the dr again in a week. I feel
    like every time I wake up, the collar has shifted/become loose and my neck is doing exactly what he said not to let it do! Truth or paranoia, I'm not entirely sure. All I know is I am a wreck and am getting very little sleep even with medication. If the hardware moves-I don't think I can go thru another surgery, if that's what will need to happen, I don't even know. Thank you for your comment, so appreciated!
  • advertisement
  • Mick74,
    As regards pain, straight after the op I was put on the HDU and had a self-activated morphine drip. I can honestly say, after giving birth to 3 kids and breaking my femur skiing, that this op was the worst pain I'd ever experienced. I still wake at least once a night and need to take tramadol to get back to sleep but obviously not as bad as at first.. I understand your reluctance to go through another op. I have problems with my lumbar spine too but will not be rushing into surgery for that any time soon.... :(
Sign In or Join Us to comment.