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How long into the normal recovery can you start driving? I mean a run to the store nothing like a road trip. This is the one thing that will drive me nuts. I just jumping in the car and going.
40 year old mom
Tlif July 18


  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 07/10/2013 - 12:59 AM
    My "worst" surgeries I was allowed to drive 7 weeks post op but only "short distances" which my surgeon said no more than 10 minutes in the car including traffic.... so basically I was able to drive myself to and from work. I was able to drive myself to the store, but honestly... almost never did because you still have to walk a good bit and then carry whatever you get and load it up (and out if its cold)....

    I know you are anxious about your upcoming surgery. I think sometimes we are freaked out by the amount of time we are expected to "stay at home"... but truthfully you won't WANT to get out much. And that doesn't mean you'll be totally miserable the entire time, it just means you'll sleep a good bit, and after a conversation at the dinner table/walking to the mail box/watching a TV show on the couch etc you'll be ready to take another nap.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • what surgery are you having? For my ALIF and posterior fusion I was given the ok to drive short distances at 2 weeks if I felt up to it. Have been told to wear my brace at all times when driving. I am 10 weeks post op and driving is still uncomfortable. Mostly changing lanes and backing up are the most difficult. No twisting. Rely on mirrors a lot. Don't be in a hurry. Take your time and recover. :)
    injury 12/29/09. L2 henamgioma L3-S1 desiccation protrusion narrowing, L5-S1 nerve rood displaces, L4-5 annular tear DDD L5-S1. surgery 4/24/12
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  • I was told I could drive after 2 weeks. I drove myself to have my hair colored and realized I had no business behind the wheel so I parked my car for another week or so. Once I was able to start going without the brace at 4 weeks it was much easier. Getting in/out of the car was difficult and the twisting to look around was really hard.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 511
    edited 07/13/2013 - 2:11 PM
    I was told no driving for a month. I started driving like 4 days after my first fusion cause my husband was an over the road truck driver. I didn't have any family around, so I really had no choice. I DO NOT recommend this. I had a hard time driving. After my second fusion I was more prepared so I didn't drive for a couple of weeks. However, the jarring effect from just riding in the car killed me for about 6 or 7 months after my second fusion.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • natannnnatann Posts: 66
    edited 07/14/2013 - 3:36 AM
    My doctor said no driving for 6 weeks after my fusion.
    After my disectomy I only had to wait 5 days.
    99/00 L4/5 & L5/S1 herniation
    2001 L5/S1 microdisectomy age 25
    severe DDD at surgery level
    2011 pars
    2012 RFA L/3/4/5
    7-02-13 L4/5 l5/S1 360 fusion ALIF PLIF
    DX spondylitis , DDD, scoliosis, and slight kyphosis
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  • Maple LeafMMaple Leaf Posts: 8
    edited 07/14/2013 - 3:55 AM
    I was told 6 weeks too. If I drove before I was told, should I have a "bump" it would render my insurance void. Once you get the ok from your surgeon then you would be legally allowed to drive. Before that I would say a No No !

    Hope this helps
  • Cleared to drive by surgeon at 2 week post op check up after PLIF. Only because I was off all pain meds by then and did not have a brace. I can only imagine how much more difficult driving would be with a brace!
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
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