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I am just 10 days post op. I had ACDF C5/C6 with own bone/no plate. I had numbing in left hand pre op. I had spinal compression. The numbing only came on after sleeping.

It took me a year to get the nerve to get this done. I was vey scared. My surgeon was good but hospital care at RCH in New Westminster BC, Canada was horrid. It's over so i won't even get into it.

My issues are sleeping! I have a hard Philly collar that I wear when up, and the soft colar for sleeping. For those of you that have been down this road, what did you do to sleep.?? You see, I'm getting a little numbing in hands after sleeping. My neck is sore and I really want to do the right thing.

What have some of you done to get through this?
Is sleeping on the side OK?
Any ideas?
Also how much did you move your neck post op?

Any help from those of you that have had this done would really help.


Hello...I'm about a week ahead of you; had my C5-7 ACDF Aug. 7. I have a Miami J collar to wear all the time, with the Philly for showering. My doctor did say I could lay on my side, but since you only have a soft collar at night, I would recommend you have plenty of pillows to keep your head from tipping sideways, or forward/backward. A lot of people sleep in recliners the first few days/weeks, especially those of us with a hard collar on at night. I have an adjustable bed and always sleep at an angle, but even with that I sometimes find the recliner more comfortable. I had donor bone, so I don't have the donor site issues you probably have with your hip, which of course may affect your ability to sleep on that side. As far as neck movement, mine moves slightly inside the collar, especially if I don't have it tight enough :) I haven't done any major movement with it yet, but I'm not very much more experienced with this than you! I wouldn't recommend any flexion, extension, or twisting at all at this point, though...especially since you don't have any internal fixation such as plates.

When I saw my NS last week, he wanted me to start taking muscle relaxers on a regular basis, which has definitely helped me sleep more soundly!

Good luck on your recovery. Glad your hospital experience is over!

Thanks Donna.

Y'know it is great having others to discuss this with after surgery that have been down this road... My staples come out tomorrow. I don't have a whole bunch of pain, but the thought of the bone moving is not something I can stop thinking about.. the Lazyboy doesn't work for me. I did get a hospital bed with elevation controls.

My hip isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. In fact it feels pretty good at only 10 days. Really no big deal. My throat is fine now. It is just the numbing in the left hand. the same one that was my issue pre op.

I can't sleep on my back so I am raising the lift on the bed and laying fetal on the side. This is prolly not the best way, but the NS said OK as long as the neck is neutral. Problem how do you make sure it stays neutral while sleeping.

anyone else with simular issues?


I also still have numbness in my hand (as well as nerve pain) although I have other shoulder/clavicle issues that may be causing that. We weren't sure how much was neck and how much was related to brachial plexus problems. I have been advised, though, that it's too soon to tell the long-term effect of the surgery, so I am still hopeful that I may get some feeling back...

I hope the same for you!
Get a couple of the contour foam pillows they sell at most drug stores.

These will form to the collar a little better than regular pillows. I liked them so much I am still using them more than two years later.
Thanks guys! I've been doing much better. I have been sleeping with the philly collar on and my pain and swelling/numbness is way down. I move, twist and all that when I sleep so I was hurting my neck while asleep. It's two weeks today outa surgery and I feel pretty good, just some muscle spasms and a stiff neck.

I have a little swelling on the back of the neck on the right side. Other than that I'm doing pretty good. I think the best advice i could give anyone is to NOT OVER DO IT!!! Even though you may feel OK, your neck and everything is still recovering from the trauma of surgery. It is very easy to fall into the trap of "hell I can do that, I feel ok!" and then pay for it later.

I have said screw it, I'm just going to concentrate on me and my health, everything else can wait.

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