Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to do anything special after cervical disc surgery, like wear a soft neck collar?

Dr. Paul Broadstone Dr. Paul Broadstone
Chattanooga, TN
A soft collar for the first week maybe helpful for post-operative discomfort, as well as limiting activities to allow for healing of the anterior neck structures.
Dr. Brett Taylor Dr. Brett Taylor
St. Louis, MO
In our practice, we do not use cervical collars after cervical disc surgery. There are not many special instructions for patients; however we typically encourage head of bed elevation for the acute recovery period after any anterior cervical surgery.
Dr. Jeffrey Carlson Dr. Jeffrey Carlson
Newport News, VA
I typically place patients in a collar after surgery for comfort. Most patients like to have some support for the muscles and incision after surgery. This is purely a comfort measure, and patients do not have to use a collar in the shower or when they are feeling more secure.
Dr. Todd Lanman Dr. Todd Lanman
Los Angeles, CA
No, I personally don't place patients in neck collars, I feel that the patients don't need any sort of neck collar to wear whatsoever, and it's really not shown to be of benefit to the patient.
Dr. Todd Bonvallet Dr. Todd Bonvallet
Chattanooga, TN
In some patients we have provided a soft collar; however, this is purely optional from my standpoint. Most patients seem to get rid of the collar within the first day or two.
Dr. Robert Pashman Dr. Robert Pashman
Los Angeles, CA
A soft collar is not mandatory for patients who have had artificial cervical disc replacement surgery.
Dr. Rebecca Stachniak Dr. Rebecca Stachniak
Plano, TX
No, patients do not have to wear a soft neck collar after cervical disc replacement surgery.
Dr. Michael Neuwirth Dr. Michael Neuwirth
New York, NY
I have my patients wear a soft collar for comfort only. They can discontinue the collar when they wish to do so.
Dr. Rick Sasso Dr. Rick Sasso
Indianapolis, IN
Dr. Praveen Mummaneni Dr. Praveen Mummaneni
San Francisco, CA
Dr. Vincent Traynelis Dr. Vincent Traynelis
Iowa City, IA
No extra support or brace is needed.
Dr. Richard Fessler Dr. Richard Fessler
Chicago, IL
No. None is necessary. You have to restrict your heavy lifting for several weeks after surgery.
Dr. Kenneth Burkus Dr. Kenneth Burkus
Columbus, GA
Sometimes for comfort surgeons will place patients in a soft collar. Also, sometimes to help the wound heal the physician would place the patient in a soft collar for a short period of time. That is left up to surgeon preference. Personally, I would put a patient in a soft collar for one week just to let the wound heal. And also in case there is any residual muscle spasm following the surgery to let the swelling from the surgery go down. Some colleagues don't use any immobilization at all. They just put a dry dressing on it and that's it. I prefer the patient not go to full activities immediately, but certainly can resume light activities such as driving and doing things around the house within a week to 10 days. The fixation that you performed means you don't have to wait for the bone to heal. The fixation you get when you leave the operating room is a good as it will get at four weeks, six weeks, ten weeks, three months later; whereas with a fusion you have to wait for the bone healing to occur, and the bone healing could take months.

The commentary above recounts the experiences of these physicians. Medtronic invited them to share their stories candidly. Keep in mind that results vary; not every patient's response is the same. The degree of motion maintained may vary with each individual patient. Talk with your doctor to learn more about any products that are mentioned above.

It is important that you discuss the potential risks, complications and benefits of spinal surgery with your doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your doctor's judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.