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I'm new and need some advise

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, everyone! :)

I am new to this site and need a little advice. I am 5 and 1/2 weeks post op from L5/S1 fusion with decompression. Before my surgery I had awful sciatica pain in my right hip and leg and it was unbearable while driving. My life was pretty miserable since I commute 50 miles each way to work daily. :(

I just started trying to drive last week and I cannot seem to drive without pain in my right hip--it isn't as bad as before surgery but it's bad enough that I haven't been able to drive for more than 10 minutes at a time. The problem is that I start back to work on July 17th and I need to find a cushion for my car seat that will help with this pain. I have a memory foam lumbar cushion that I paid $50.00 for & it doesn't help. It isn't the contoured type,though.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!



  • REad the thread just below on driving. It just sucks! There is no way around us driving, honestly, i just have to get where I'm going and deal with the pain...take your meds as long as they don't effect you while driving. this is just one thing that we all have to wait it out. I am 4 months out and still have trouble with driving pain. often it is unbearable, but i do it anyway...cuz we have to work and pay our medical bills, right?

    it does seem that the hips after fusion seem to give us the most pain, my back doesn't really hurt at all, all the pain is my butt and hips and hamstrings.

    sorry I don't have any suggestions...just know that you are not alone in this. here is what my PT said... that the further back your seat is, the more your hips have to move from side to side. so, he told me to put my seat closer to the pedals in a way that my hips don't move when pressing the pedals, only your lower leg. not sure if it worked, but i did readjust my seat. and lumbar support seems to work better than a bum cushion.

    good luck!!!
  • I can't imagine that commute! Yikes! Does your car have seat warmers? I run mine constantly, and I shift from side to side. You may be able to relax the hip enough. A lot of us have hip pain, unsure if it's bursitis from the altered gait, lying on it or just the surgical positioning itself. Sometimes you can have piriformis pain along with sciatica that comes from your back. If you lay on your back and CAREFULLY put your knees up and then cross your right ankle over your knee (to create a figure 4), then GENTLY pull your knee towards your left shoulder you can get a nice sretch in the hip/piriformis area. Maybe working on this ahead of time, and then doing it before you drive (and if possible after) may help keep it loose. Also, if you sit at a desk, can you have a heating pad to keep in your chair? That may help just before or after your commute to make it more bearable. Sorry if I'm repeating any ideas..I haven't read the other post yet. :?
    Best of luck! -Andrea
  • lilyvamp: Thank you for the tip - I will adjust my seat closer and see what happens. And you are right--I have more pain in my hips than in my back. I can take 1/2 of Lorcet Plus without having issues with my driving so I guess that's what I will do--Then when I get to work I sit in a chair and talk on the phone all day! That will be fun too, I'm sure! ;)


  • I'll try the stretch! I am hoping this pain will eventually diminish--No, I don't have seat warmers. The car is a Chevy Cobalt, sits a little low and has bucket seats. I really need a cushion of some kind (can't afford to trade it in right now for something more comfortable--have to pay medical bills!)

    Thanks for the tip!
  • i just purchased a blow up doughnut at walgreensfor $10.00. I take it every place and am sitting on it now. it seems to give alot of support and it sure helps me when in the car.
    I drive school bus and I drive over 150 miles per day, stopping and starting. I think i will have to find a new job!
    good luck,
  • I know it adds to length of the trip but if I leave a bit earlier and stop every 15 mis or so it really makes a difference
    I just pull off into a side street, get out and have a stretch, walk up and down the street for a few minutes, rub my back then get back in and join that never-ending queue.
    Thankfully I am not working yet but I was having this problem before surgery and my Dr is 50 mins away or longer during peak hr.

    The heated seat sounds fantastic!!!! I want one, have never heard of them in Aussie.

    Blessings Sara
  • Bead...

    I'm 4 weeks out from L5-S1 discectomy and went back to work last week. I have a 45 minute commute. Pure hell. The best thing I found for me, was to put my seat as far back as possible and still reach the pedals. Then reclined as far as possible and still see over the steering wheel. Now I can stretch my left leg out nearly straight. It's not a totally pain free solution, but it makes it possible for me to get there and back with a minimum of pain. It's amazing how innovative one becomes in these situations.

    Anyway, good luck!

  • Do you have lumbar pain? At this point, I will try anything if it will give some relief!

    Thank you for your reply!
  • More than likely, I will have to stop along the way. I may try to find a cushion with heat--that does sound good, doesn't it? When do you go back to work?
  • Thanks for the tip, Chris--I tried it but it may be a little soon for me to do this type of stretch. My PT only has me doing pelvic tilts and heel-toe exercises for the time being. I see her again on the 22nd of July---

    Good luck to you, too!
  • Hi Bead, I am not currently working. I had to stop working after my first laminectony in 2001 and have been on partial workers comp since then. The w/c company want me to get a different job which is how I ended up having this recent surgery.
    The more they pushed me the worse my back got till I had to have the fusion.
    So it wont be long before they have me looking for a new job. Only thing is everything I have ever done before or been trained in is not suitable now with new limitations. So I really need to find a whole new career.
    Oh well one step at a time and I still have a few weeks of PT and hydro left.

    Blessings Sara

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