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How soon will I be able to drive after c5-7 anterior discetomy and fusion

Carla St. LouisCCarla St. Louis Posts: 1
edited 08/15/2013 - 6:08 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I will be having c5-7 anterior discectomy and fusion on September 6th 2013 and am the only person in my household who can drive. How soon before I can safely get behind the wheel again. I'm not concerned about driving while medicated as I have been on pain pills for 6 years due to this issue and a Lumbar surgery years ago.I care for my 86 year old father in law so my life will be turned upside down for a while. I have heard anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, that's quite a difference in opinions. 6 months will be a nightmare if that is the case. If anyone can give me a general idea, suggestions, etc. it would be much appreciated. Right now I feel as though I will be completely useless for and undetermined amount of time.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 08/15/2013 - 6:34 AM
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I had the same surgery 7/17. Cleared to drive at 2 weeks. Stopped taking pain meds during the day at that point too. It was definitely not comfortable! I'm 4 weeks post op now and driving is just starting to be more comfortable. I think a lot depends on your doctor. Mine does not use a neck brace, if yours does I'm not sure how long it will be. You could call and see what they recommend. Good luck with your surgery! If you have any questions feel free to ask!
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
  • Hi Carla,
    Please join our group of Spineys that are having surgeries in September. We will all be there to support each other through this tough time.
    Orlando Florida
    4 Level ACDF
    October 15th, 2013
  • BrokenHogBBrokenHog Posts: 2
    edited 08/20/2013 - 3:05 AM
    With the surgeons blessings I remember it being about two weeks but I still felt like I got hit by a truck yet at that point, its a big surgery. At least for me, I woke up thinking - wow, what the heck did they have to do to me, I feel like I can't even get up and walk to the bathroom. And I couldn't , without two aids helping me.

    Now, many months after my 2 level ACDF I still can't drive more than short distances without having to get out to stretch or lay back and rest my head & neck. Driving is no longer enjoyable for me since my injury at work & subsequent acdf surgery. I still have constant neck pain and right arm pain 24/7 and driving is one of several activities that aggravates my pain & discomfort . Sitting in my favorite plush leather lazy boy for too long also aggravates my neck and arm pain.
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