Back and Neck Injury/C1 & C2 Traumatic Fracture
QUESTION: Doctor, I had a C1 & C2 Traumatic fracture about 14 weeks ago and I was kept on a Cervical Orthosis Collar( Philidelphia Colar) for about 10 weeks and then I have been kept on soft collar for about 4 weeks now. Now, after undergoing CT scan & MRI, doctor has asked me to start the movement of the neck slowly & gently. I have started movement of my neck slowly but it pains and exerts a lot of force. What should I do.Doctor told me there is nothing to worry about.
ANSWER: Hi Puneet,
Fractures in the upper cervical area are very difficult and it is good to hear you have progressed to a stage where you can do some active motion. It is going to be difficult, but your neck has been kept immobile for a long time. Muscles have shortened and I assume there has been some damage and resulting scar tissue. This will take some time, but it sounds like your doctor is pleased with your progress and has been thorough in making an assessment. So, I agree it is time to start motion. This is very important in regaining as much range of motion as possible.
The key is to go slowly. Now, it is going to involve some pain and stiffness, but not a lot. It is understandable that you are very apprehensive. What I might suggest is that you ask your doctor to let you perform the motions while he is there to observe and alleviate any of your fears. At least, maybe he can prescribe you physical therapy and you can begin the process under the supervision of a physical therapist until you are comfortable with the motions and the sensations you are experiencing.
Kind Regards and all the best.
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QUESTION: Doctor, can i now start my daily and routine activities like going to office and travelling by car etc. Another thing doctor my fracture line is still visible on CT Scan after 16 weeks, doctor says it wil be visible on CT Scan for a year and so..it will go slowly and eventually. Doctor should I get worried about it. And still doctor has advised me to wear soft collar at the time of my activities, how long should i wear this soft collar because its almost 16 weeks since the fracured happened.
CT Scans show very fine detail and the soft collar will not do any harm, so I would continue to follow your doctors recommendations. It sounds like you are progressing. Getting back to a normal life takes some time and will involve some anxiety. Hopefully, you are getting more motion and the level of pain is reducing.