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Post Back Surgery Travel Tips For Planes

bigboybackusbbigboybackus Posts: 25
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello. I am 6 1/2 weeks post surgery and I am scheduled for a 5 hour flight in 2 days for work. I have been cleared by my doctor and was encouraged to stand up as much as possible an do very light stretching, check in my bag so that I don't carry on, and also take meds as directed (muscle relaxant, pain killers, and OTC pain relief). If anyone one else has any recommendations, suggestions or tips, it would be appreciated.


  • You didn't state back or neck, but regardless I would make sure and get an isle seat. That way you don't disrupt other passengers too much as you get up every 15-20 minutes. I hope your flight goes well. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am sorry that I didn't tell you what I had done. I had a lumbar micodiscectomy at L5-S1 but really appreciate the recommendation on an aisle seat. I think you are right - it will be much less annoying than if I had a window seat for the person next to me.
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  • You should bring a plastic bag with you. When they come around to offer you a beverage, make sure to ask for a cup of ice. Pour said ice in to the bag and apply the bag of ice to your lower back. Certainly couldn't hurt.
  • I roll up a blanket for my lower back. This is hit or miss if the flight will provide it. I also try and get up once an hour.

    If possible I practice any PT excercises that are not obvious. (rolling my ankle, contracting core muscles, and contracting butt muscles)

    I would also stay away from storing anything of any weight in the overhead. It would be really difficult to place or remove anything without bending, twisting, or lifting.

    An upgrade to first class is also always helpful.

    Hope your travel goes well.
  • I am 10 days post op and will have to travel alot after 4 weeks. I will go from Delhi (India) to lafayette(USA) changing 3 flights. First one is like 17 hrs and tge other two are 2 hrs each. Including the airport time I will spend about 30 hrs traveling.

    I will travel first class and have spoken to the airline staff. They said they would arrange a strecher for me. I advice you to talk to your airline staff.
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  • Brenda:
    The flight over was good and I was able to get up and stretch and stretch when needed. The flight back was lousy because I had a middle seat, it was choppy, and I couldn't get up. I need to make sure and listen to your advice and thank you for your help. I have to travel twice again in the next two weeks, but the trips are much shorter.
  • Once again, you are wise beyond your years - I didn't bring a plastic bag and didn't even think about it. I am going to contact the airline before hand and try to get as much needed TLC as possible. I travel a lot and they should take care of me. Thanks again and I am sure that you are doing well.
  • Mas 952:
    I went and bout a lumbar pillow for $9 at Target and it is some of the best $9 I have ever bought. I looked like Quazimodo with my back but I didn't care. Thank you as always for the tip and my thoughts and prayers are with you during your recovery and rehabilitation.
  • All I can say is I admire you. I couldn't even think about traveling that soon after your procedure. That being said, I agree with the steps that you have taken. I have two additional business trips in the next two weeks and will make sure and let the airline know what is going on to be as comfortable as possible. Please hang in there and my thoughts and prayers are with you during your recovery.
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