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travel after ACDF

hi all -- after 10 months of struggling with severe neck/back/arm pain i've finally decided to move forward with an ACDF procedure on one level (c6/7), scheduled for october. after consulting with multiple doctors, this seems to be the best possible option.

i do however have a dilemma -- i moved to new orleans about 2 months before my initial diagnosis & since that time, all i've really done is work and stay at home due to all the pain i've been having. because of that, i haven't really had the opportunity to make any friends here. i live by myself and i don't really have anyone in new orleans who can watch over me during my recovery.

my mom is coming to new orleans from new mexico to be with me during the surgery and for a few days afterwards. i'm wondering if I would be fit to travel back to new mexico (by car, 14 hours total) a few days after the surgery & stay there for a while.

has anyone had experience traveling post-ACDF? my doctor said its probably not a good idea -- but the prospect of staying in new orleans by myself scares me more than a long car ride.

any advice is appreciated -- thanks in advance!


  • @Claydoh It's good to hear you have arranged to have help the first couple of days after your ACDF. I had C5-C6 ACDF on 8/12/14 and was so glad to have my husband to help me the first two weeks. I, too, wanted to travel and ended up taking a three hour car trip when I was two weeks post op. I brought a bed pillow, reclined my seat and took a muscle relaxer. This worked pretty well. After the return trip a few days later, I did have more soreness from all the sitting. After a few days I was better. I was in the hospital for 3 days and spent the next week and a half taking it very easy. I would not have wanted to travel before the 2 week point. But, that was me and we all heal at different speeds.
    Good luck with everything in October. It will all turn out okay. :)
  • There's no way I could have handled that much time in a car that soon after my ACDF. I'm one month post op and this weekend just spent 40 minutes in our car - a large sedan - and it wiped me out. I had a 4 level with autograft from my pelvis and hardware, but I'm not sure that makes a difference.

    Can't your mom stay with you for a couple of weeks?

    Listen to your doctor and see if your mom or another family member would be willing to go to NO to be with you.

    4 level ACDF, C3-C7 with iliac bone crest graft with hardware on August 22nd.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    presents problems and discomfort. There is not sure fire way to avoid any of this, but one thing that will always help is:

    Every 45 to 75 minutes, get up, stretch, walk around, etc for at least 10 minutes before returning to where you were will help so much. This includes driving in a car, riding in a train or flying in a plane. The key is to get up before your muscle start to tighten, which then will place an additional strain on your discs, which WILL result in discomfort and pain.

    30+ years since my last spinal surgery and I still do this. I can not stay in one position for extended periods of time.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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