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Driving Post-op

Hello All

I am currently 8 weeks post op from 2 level artificial disk replacement in my cervical spine. I am 2 weeks into PT, they are addressing the muscle tightness and inflammation that focuses on my left hand side.

I try to stay out of my soft collar as much as possible but find I need it when I am being driven in a car or towards the end of day. And on days after Physical Therapy, I'm in it alot more as the muscles are fatigued. And even on days thats not post PT, I find that I have to wear it intermediately through the day.

MY question is for those who are post op and are "cleared" to drive. Did you find it hard to return to driving? My injury resulted from a rear ending so I know thats playing a big part for me. Which I'm actually surprised. Because when my disk were herniated and the disk were learning against my spine and I was at a greater risk, I was still driving around. But now, the idea of driving gives me ALOT of anxiety. I know because of the muscle tightness on my left side I am not turning my head as fast as normal, and I find that the smart thing to do is not risk everyone elses safety, because of my current limitations.

Just curious if anyone has experienced anything similar?

Thank you for your time
T
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Comments

  • I had a 3 level ACDF with corpectomy, so certainly not the same surgery as you. I was released to drive at 6 weeks, and I thought I'd either have limited mobility, fear, something. But I didn't. I think once I returned to work (8 weeks) my muscles got more sore, I think from turning my head so much (I have a 50 minute drive both ways on 4 lane highway).

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,059
    Depending on the type of ACDF surgery, doctors can clear you from 3 weeks up to 6 weeks.
    My last ACDF was in 2000 and I still have problems driving. I can not turn my head to the left. I use an oversize mirror, which helps, but still it does not cover the entire field.

    So, while I have a doctors ok years ago, I still need to be very cautious.

    Good thing my hearing is ok, so I can hear when someone is blaring their horn at me, if I am in their way
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron,

    How were your nerves when you started up back driving? Any issues?
  • I've been drivingsince 6 weeks post op and am totally stressed. I'm afraid of an accident that's going to ruin all the work I had done. Take it slow and go short distances. Good luck.
  • Thank you for the input, and the suggestion. I'm going to start very very slowly. And I agree with you I'm very afraid of anything hitting me right now will im still recovering.
    christiben said:
    I've been drivingsince 6 weeks post op and am totally stressed. I'm afraid of an accident that's going to ruin all the work I had done. Take it slow and go short distances. Good luck.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,059
    I am not sure what you meant about nerves.....

    If it was about being nervous, no, no problem there.

    And if it was about nerve pain/damage, no problem there either.

    My biggest problem was range of motion
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Sorry for the confusion. When I spoke of nerves I meant more of anxiety when it came to driving. I think I am experiencing this because of being rear ended.

    I am also struggling with range of motion, and I'm playing it on the safe side before I drive.
    dilauro said:
    I am not sure what you meant about nerves.....

    If it was about being nervous, no, no problem there.

    And if it was about nerve pain/damage, no problem there either.

    My biggest problem was range of motion
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