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Flying after acdf

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Old 09-02-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Flying after acdf

Hello to all, this is my first post. I am now 9 days post acdf, c5-7.
I am feeling a bit better every day and am noticing less nerve pain down my arm and into my hand. All good. Here is my dilemma: my husband planned a very special trip to Paris before all of the pain and agony flared up. Trip is in 5 weeks!
I am very nervous about an 8-10 hour flight. And also about being out of the country a d we don't speak any French. My gut feeling is to postpone and wait to see fusion before something so ambitious.
I would like to hear from those of you who have been through this!

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Flying after acdf

After my ACDF, I had a great deal of trouble flying very far without landing to rest. It's difficult holding your head up - to see where you're going - without getting very tired.

But seriously... you might want to get some kind of travel pillow that will keep your head upright when you fall asleep.

Last edited by WebDozer; 09-02-2012 at 04:12 PM.

Old 09-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #3
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Re: Flying after acdf

I would contact your Dr. but it should be fine. The usual time to stay out of a vehicle is 2-3 weeks after surgery and flying is much less movement than driving in a car.

In a car, there are hard bumps and regular jolting...with a plane trip...even if there is a bit of is distributed throughout the plane and therefore through your seat in a much better way.

I have had 3, two-level fusions...the last one being anterior and posterior and I went on a plane trip cross country 6 weeks out.

And before my 2nd surgery when the herniations were getting pretty bad...I traveled to Africa by two planes, a helicopter, and a 10 hour bus ride on potholed dirt roads. (think VW old bus)..

The key is making sure you have some pain medication to take as needed. And if you didn't have a prescription previously...getting one for a muscle relaxer is very helpful. Taking one 30 minutes before boarding the plane is helpful. And then just bring all the other creature comforts you would for flying...

I've flown so much for my jobs and personal life that I have my ready to go carry on with everything I could need to enjoy the flight. My own special soft blanket, small, tempurpedic like pillow for my head, plenty of books and movies on my phone/ipod/computer to listen to/watch.

And definitely bring and drink lots of water. Stay away from any alcohol...especially with the medication. But this keeps you better hydrated.

Also have a bunch of snacks that have both a complex carb/protein to keep you feeling good. Avoid things with lots of sugar or simple carbs which falsely provide a boost of energy but then come crashing down.

And most to get up and walk the aisles every hour or so to keep from getting stiff. And while in your basic stretches..especially with your legs to help keep from getting any possible blood clots..

Paris is absolutely wonderful and most every place you go to they also speak English so no worries there. Just learn a few of the most basic phrases to say thank you, please, excuse me, and hello as they appreciate the politeness.

Anyway....those are just my thoughts/suggestions if you end up going..

It really depends on your overall health and making sure you are ok'd by your Dr. So, I would call first thing tomorrow morning and find out so if you have to cancel or rearrange won't get penalized financially so close to the trip date.

Bon Voyage!

Last edited by Ilovemycutedog; 09-03-2012 at 08:17 AM.

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