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Driving after surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Driving after ALIF...it has been 5 weeks for me so far, since having my fusion on October 1st.

I went to the doctors, yesterday & they said I could drive short distances. I haven't driven yet..but how long was it before you could drive longer distances after you first started driving after surgery? :??

Kristie :)))


  • I had to drive myself short distances at 4 weeks post-op, mostly to physical therapy, then when I went back to work at 7 weeks. I still worry about driving though even 8 months out - when I turn to look over my right shoulder backing out of parking spaces or merging I hear my back crack in my fusion area...
    I think most doctors are concerned about you being off pain meds that might effect driving ability and judgment.
  • I was told I could drive 2 weeks after surgery. I didn't, though, because I was taking pain meds. That's all I need...get in an accident and they find I was driving while under the influence. Once I started, I did have a little difficulty seeing who was in the lane I wanted to get in!
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  • My doctor also said I could drive short distances after I was off the pain meds (consistant use), for me this was about 5 weeks.

    He said I could drive only up to 20 minutes until all my restrictions are lifted (sitting, BLT etc...). As of now, I still cant park the car, unless I can pull thru a spot,lol.

    I also have a great deal of difficulty getting in and out of low or high cars, my PT Cruiser is just right. For everyone its different I guess, I seem to have a very conservative doctor,lol.

    Take Care,

  • My Doc said NO WAY for driving as long as I was taking pain meds. Too dangerous.
  • I've been on Percocet 2 pills 4x a day for 8 months now. They don't affect my perception or vision, etc.. So I am cleared to drive while taking them. I drove about a week and a half after my anterior/posterior surgery. It's not illegal here to drive while taking prescription narcotics at the prescribed dosage. So even if you get pulled over, they cannot legally cite you for anything. Although, if someone is affected by it, of course they shouldn't drive, legal or not. Usually, if I have somewhere to go, I won't take my pain meds til I get back, but that all depends on where I'm going and how long it will take, even though I don't feel any side effects... So I dunno. Whatever that is worth to ya. Lol. 1.5 weeks post op driving normal distances... Like half an hour. And I drove extended distances at about 3 weeks.
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  • I'm interested in knowing where that is not against the law also. Pain meds don't affect anything I do, but in VA it would amount to me telling the officer that 3 beers (or whatever) wouldn't affect me. They'd laugh me all the way to jail!
  • Illegal if it's not your prescription. if you are prescribed the medication you can drive while taking it. It would be ridiculous for anyone to expect someone not to drive for a year because they're prescribed pain medication for a chronic condition.
  • Having nothing else to do today, I called my local Magistrate's Office and asked him the question. His answer agreed with Lo's explanation. He said that if it's a script that you have to take and it's your script, there would be no problem. I still find this hard to believe. I know meds affect everyone a little differently, but it is scary to think about! Just thought I'd share.
  • That it is scary to think about. Some people are affected very much by their prescriptions, even non-narcotic ones. That's why I think people should use their personal judgement as a deterrent, not so much the legality of a situation. If my meds impaired my ability to drive, I most definitely wouldn't take them. I don't think that's right to do... I think out of concern for innocent people, if not yourself, you should consider not taking it until you get back home, or not driving until the effects have worn off.

    So I guess for me my feelings on it are that it varies by person, and it's something each person should take seriously. Not something to be taken lightly.
  • Amen to that!
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