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Traveling after fusion surgery???

dkayjddkayj Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone!! Having a double fusion on April 6th due to spinal stenosis and sponylothesis. Also scheduled to go to Aruba on June 23rd which is 11 weeks after my surgery. What do you think? Based on your experience, will I be able to go? I am HIGHLY motivated! Should I take out travel insurance? Let me know what you think!! :))


  • Hi,

    I am having an ACDF on 3-21 in Seattle, about 250 miles away from where I live. After I am discharged, I will have to go over the mountain passes to get to the Eastern side of the state and home. My doctor has not expressed an issue with me riding in a car for that long right after surgery. Hopefully the pain will not be too bad. Assuming I do not develop a CSF leak like I did after my lumbar surgery, I think I will be ok. But that was a different surgery and a different doctor, hence my trip to a large metropolitan area for surgery. I think you should be ok going to Aruba 11 weeks post-op, but I will keep you posted if you want.

    Robin :)))
  • 2 levels L4/L5 and i can tell you that there is no way i could travel anywhere due to pain and all the things that you need around you after such a massive operation .like a comfy chair and bed walk in shower .grabber walking stick ...many people don't realise just how big a fusion is and recovery can be as long as 2 years .getting over the operation can be a lengthy process too especially if you have had previous spinal surgery .i went away before my operation and it was hell i spent 90 percent of the time in the hotel in my bed ! {what a waste of 2 thousand pounds}.everyone is different but the fusion is massive and demands respect ..just remember that as you don't want to end up having it redone !!
    tony 45 years {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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  • Hi

    I was able to travel 12 weeks out from a two stage ALIF. My surgeon gave me the following restrictions that helped:- no lifting stuff into the overhead luggage bins, lying down after 2 hours, a day of rest after arriving at my destination. Daily walking for an hour at least, restrict sitting to 2 hours at a time. At 6 months out I was able or dispense with the day's rest and can now sit through the normal work day. I still do the walks, and ask the cabin crew for floor level storage of my carry-on. I am lucky enough to be able to travel first class, don't think I'd have been able to manage early on in Coach.

    He also recommends a week of beach walking every 8 weeks, so Aruba sounds like a great idea!
  • Well i flew to europe about 3 months after my 1 level fusion l4l5"

    So it can be done as long as everything goes ok with the surgery, I asked to sit with nobody siting next to me on the plane so i can move around easy,

    The incision pain is nowhere as bad as the nerve pain i was having before surgery and nerve pain mostly returned after incision pain was gone,

    I am glad i went after fusion before nerve pain returned,

    Europe was about 18 hour trip so thats prety long flight, See if you can sit at least at end seat where you csn get up and walk around without a problem,

    Unless you can afford 1 st class would be great and would not be a problem at all,
    If you make arangements with the airline they will give you assistance and even help you board the plane before anyone and even help with wheel chair assistance,

    That would be the smartest way to do it without standing in long lines,

    Soon as they know you need assistance they will be happy to help, Thats what they have people there for,

    Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • This may not be what you want to hear but I would recommend against making any travel plans just yet, especially if it invovles spending a lot of money.

    Different people experience different recoveries - many might be in pretty good shape at 11 weeks, others may still be suffering badly.

    Even if your recovery goes perfectly, 11 weeks is still very early days in the process. I am 8 weeks post L5-S1 SCAPF. All in all, I am doing very well. But there isn't a chance I'd be able to fly abroad in 3 weeks time.

    I think you need to put all your thoughts and energy into just getting better and not worrying about travelling.

    Anyway, I wish you well with the operation and the recovery also.


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  • Are you able to change the date for a later one?

    If not, then I'd definately take out travel insurance if I was you, in case you cannot travel and your surgeon can give you a supporting letter if your insurance people need the evidence if you have to cancel.

    I'd pay the minimum deposit too if I was in your position and it's not too late.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • after 11 weeks I was fine to travel. You should be able to stand or walk the aisle once in the air. Everyone is different, but from my experience on my 4 level fusion, I think I would have been just fine. I would definitley mention this to your surgeon before hand. I think if you could postpone the vacation you would have a lot more fun on vacation, but my thoughts about the flight in my opinon would be fine. That's just me though. The best of luck to you and let us know. Kevin
  • I Had L4/L5 / S1 fusion on 03/13. I am going to be 2 weeks post-op on 03/27. At that point I am driving 650 miles with my wife.

    We went out of state for my surgery because I wanted a specific Dr to do the surgery.

    I have not done the traveling yet, but my Dr. says at 2 weeks he will allow me to travel, so I trust him.

    Hope it works out for you -

    Left foramina stenosis of L3/L4 (retrolisthesis)
    L2-ilaic revision fusion ( loose screws) with a laminectomy at L3 (cage at L3-L4)
    (PLIF) -@ L4/ L/5 - S1 (cage at L4/L5)
  • Hi, I had a 1 level plif on 1/10/12 and I too have a
    trip to Aruba planned for 4/22. So I will be around 14weeks. I figure if I can walk,sit and rest at home I could do it in the heat and sea. Since this is our 16th trip we dont do anything except being beach bums all week. I will try to pm u when I return. How long are your flights, assuming its a 2 leg one?
  • Hi, I had a 1 level plif on 1/10/12 and I too have a
    trip to Aruba planned for 4/22. So I will be around 14weeks. I figure if I can walk,sit and rest at home I could do it in the heat and sea. Since this is our 16th trip we dont do anything except being beach bums all week. I will try to pm u when I return. How long are your flights, assuming its a 2 leg one?
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