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ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?


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Old 07-14-2006, 09:20 PM   #1
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ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

My surgery was on 7/3 and I go for my post-op visit next week.

When were you guys allowed to drive after your surgery? I know I can't drive in the Philadelphia collar but I'm hoping he'll say it's okay to drive in the soft one. (?) Any guesses?

My son (almost 16 & driving with a learner's permit) has been chauffering me daily and today he got too close to a construction saw-horse and smashed the passenger mirror off my van.

I might be safer on my own - or at least not have so many muscle spasms from tension.

Did you guys have to wait a whole month???

Thanks,
Lilac

 
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:44 PM   #2
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

I had an Aspen collar for 6 weeks so I did not drive for 6 weeks. I had an C5-C7 ACDF on 5/18/06. I would not have felt safe due to lane changing, etc. Whenever I needed to go anywhere my husband would have to drive.
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Old 07-15-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

After my ACDF I was allowed to drive at two weeks while in a soft collar, the main thing was that I was not taking pain meds which could impair my reaction time. However, I did not feel comfortable driving, my head still felt stiff and certainly did not feel up to anything other than short local trips.

After my second surgery I was in a hard collar for seven weeks so was unable to drive until I could remove it. After that it took a few more weeks before I felt I had enough movement to be safe.

Every doc is different, just remember that when you come out of the hard collar it might still take some time before you'll be comfortable driving.

W

 
Old 07-15-2006, 11:40 AM   #4
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

I got to drive after 2 weeks postop and my collar come off then also. I found that range of motion of my neck limited me some with looking over my shoulder when backing out of places.
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

After the collar came off, pain meds were at an acceptable level, and when I felt safe - which was around 8 weeks for short drives. Everyone is different.

 
Old 07-17-2006, 08:32 AM   #6
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

L & L...I had ACDFw/hardware on the c5-c6 (w/severe cord compression)...My OS told me I could drive when I felt comfortable enough...I initially wore a soft collar only when I drove...I am now sans the collar...I began driving after about a week and a half...You have to be careful with your limited range of motion...and just be cautious...I commute about 3 hrs a day for work (luckily I am off for the summer and have only gone in once since my surgery...tomorrow will be my second trip)...and I have found this experience to have changed my driving strategy...I am less pressed while driving...slower...and creating more space between myself and the other drivers...Good luck...and be safe...HTF

 
Old 07-17-2006, 09:00 PM   #7
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

FYI - I purchased a lanechanger mirror that attaches to my rear view mirror. It expands the range of what I see in the mirror and I feel 100% more comfortable driving now.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:21 PM   #8
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

I've been meaning to post this for months, but just never got around to it. I've used this to help me with driving for well over a year now. It was extremely helpful during pre-surgery episodes when my neck was really hurting and/or stiff, and was invaluable when I first started driving after surgery.

It's a way of setting your side and rearview mirrors so that you have hardly any blind spots. Which means that you don't have to turn your head to see what's next to you or on your corner. I read about it in an online car talk forum.

1) Sit in the driver's seat as you normally would. Set your rearview mirror.
2) Lean your head all the way to the left, so that it just touches the left window. From that position, set your left side mirror so that you can see the back corner of your car.
3) Lean the same distance to the right and set your right side mirror in the same way.

Set this way, there is minimal overlap between the mirrors. If a car is coming up behind you, you can initially see it in your rearview mirror. As it comes up beside you, your view of the car will pass from your rearview mirror to your side mirror. There is no delay, no moment where the car can't be seen. It will literally 'slip' from the view in your rearview mirror to the view in your side mirror.

It takes some getting used to, but you eventually learn to accept and trust what you're seeing in your mirrors. Head turning is reduced to minimal or none.

Once you've adapted a bit, you can make minor adjustments to the mirrors. Pulling up to a line of parked cars is suggested as one way to make sure your view is set properly.

If you can find the article, I think there is a diagram, as well.

I know this sounds a bit unconventional, but it works like a charm.

 
Old 07-18-2006, 09:01 PM   #9
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Re: ACDF - when were you allowed to drive?

Hi & thanks to everyone for your replies.

I saw the NS today and he said I can drive with my soft collar, but only to do so with those little round mirrors you adhere to your existing mirrors. (Must be the 'lane-changers' Cross mentioned, but I thought he said for me to put them on my side view mirrors ?) I will also set my mirrors up the way you mentioned, Ember.

I've *always* been one to look over my shoulder when changing lanes. I've never felt safe with with just my mirrors, but I guess I'll have to learn to trust them more.

My son is ready for me to do some of the driving again and it will feel good to be able to go places by myself again.

Thanks for sharing ~

Lilac

 
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