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Hubby having C6-C7 Fusion this Monday...need advice

I'm brand new to this forum and need some advice.  My hubby is having unexpected cervical fusion c6-7 this Monday.  We went for 2 opinions and both agreed he must have this procedure.  He has burning and tingling and limited movement in his left arm/shoulder.  (He had 2 herniated lumbar surgeries in 2006) I have been trying to read on the forum but I've been completely overwhelmed with all the information from the surgeon and hospital preop stuff.  Here are my questions:

He has been fitted for a collar...how long will he be in one? Do you shower and sleep with this collar or are there other collars for that?  Where is the best place to sleep? I've been reading some sleep in recliners, some in bed.  Are there pros or cons to where to sleep?

Swallowing...will he be sore and unable to eat foods for the few days post op?
Driving.....Surgeon said 6 weeks, maybe he can drive short distances after 3....????

We would also appreciate hearing any advice or suggestions any of you may have to help us get through the next 6 weeks.  Any self discovered tips? (Those are usually the best, lol)  How are you feeling now and how long ago did you have your fusion done??

He is very nervous that he may wind up worse than he was before.......

Thanks and nice to "meet" ya all :)  
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Avatar universal

I just had c6 fusion with a plate 2 months ago.  I went to 3 different doctors, 2 surgeons and all said surgery was my only option.  I was told the surgery would relieve the pain under my left shoulder blade and the pain down my arm.  It might help with the weakness and numbness in the arm as well but they could not be sure.  They said that it was only a 50/50 that it would herlp the severe pain in my upperback and neck.

Post surgery:  The pain under my left sholder blade and down my arm is gone.  That's about it.  I am getting some more use of my left arm (surgeon said after 1 year that would be the best it got, time would tell).  The pain in my upper back and neck has not gotten any better at all.  I am now having issues with pain and limited use of my right arm. (I'm told it is from how they strapped my arms down due to the surgery and should get better with time)  As for driving, I was about 2 months and I still don't drive much.  I can't control the pain enought to drive and still can't look up or down.  I do have numbness in my neck around where they did the incision, I'm told if it's not better after a year it will be perminant.

Surgery gave me exactly what the surgeon promised and nothing more.  I hope it works out better for you guys.  I'm now having a problem with my pain meds, to high for what I can tolerate.  Listen to exactly what the surgeon says the surgery will do so there are no surprises.  I slept on the couch up for about a month, exactly like I did prior to surgery.  

Yes you throat is sore, how long varies for some people.  You will also feel something in your throat for a while.  They told me it was the plate and not to worry.
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Avatar universal

I had spinal fusion 1 year ago with replacement of C4-C7 discs and vertebrae.  I have a steel rod and cage housing my spine.  I read the comments that lisa tull typed, she is correct.  I am having a lot of trouble since my surgery.  The only thing I can tell you is be very patient with your husband as this is a life changing surgery.  Afterward you have to stay in a hard plastic brace for 6 weeks to 8 weeks.  This was a true pain because you can't move your neck at all.  It's hard to breath.  Don't let your husband remove this because he will more than want to.  Make sure he gets plenty of rest, this will be another feat.  He will have a very sore throat afterward and have trouble swallowing, make sure he doesn't eat any hard food.  I drank ensure for about a week afterward.  This is due to the incision they make at the right side of your neck.  Also, he may feel an intense pain under his shoulder blades, this is due to them strapping him to the table so he will not move during surgery.  I under went a 10 hour surgery I'm not certain how long he will undergo surgery for one replacement.  Also, make sure he doesn't lift anything too heavy.  It will rip the screws out of his spine.  He will have a hard time sleeping, you may want to rent or by an adjustable bed.  I rented a hospital bed and slept in an almost sitting up position for a month.  Also, when he comes out of surgery he will be very grogy this will last for a couple of days afterward.  I would black out on and off afterward.  This goes on until all the medication is out of his system.  Also, tell him to leave those orthopedic air boots on because it will keep him from getting any blood clots.  Remember, just be patient with him and give him lots of love and attention.  Hopefully, both you and him will have good luck with this procedure as well as a speedy recovery.  As my neurosurgeon tells me it just takes time.  Again, Good luck!
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