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  • Car travel after discectomy

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    Old 11-23-2014, 06:20 AM   #1
    Moonfaceryder
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    Car travel after discectomy

    Hello, i am planning on a discectomy of the L5 probably the 2nd week of december. I would like to be able to do my family's Christmas tradition of spending the week with my family who live 5-6 hrs away. I have been in severe leg and back pain since August and have been taking percocet which just takes the edge off enough to function and go to work. But always in pain.

    Anyway, i thought of now waiting until after Christmas to do the surgery, but with the pain increasing even more in the past week, i dont think i can make it that long. I have a 6 and a 9 yr old. If we have Christmas here at home I wont physically really be able to do anything to make it Christmas-y. Whether i wait until after Christmas surgery or have it before.

    My doctor said his patients usually return to work a week after surgery (i teach).

    So I was interested in how long after surgery people felt comfortable being a car passenger (and seats recline pretty good)? For how long a period were you "comfortable" traveling? My plans would be to go about 10 days after surgery but the return trip would be after New Year's. i realize we would have to stop every 30-45 mins to walk around. But interested in people's experiences.

    Thank you for any responses. And positive thoughts and prayers to you all during your recovery.

     
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    Old 11-24-2014, 10:36 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Car travel after discectomy

    I wrote one reply to you but didn't post it, so will try again. It makes me crazy when people are told they can expect to be back to work in a week...but, I will try to control myself.

    Perhaps your surgeon has developed some magical way to perform a discectomy that other doctors are not aware of, or he is very optimistic.

    Have you tried all the conservative treatments prior to deciding to have surgery? It is not always necessary to have a discectomy.

    It is very important that you give yourself enough time to heal. The danger of a re herniation is greatest in the early weeks post surgery. Sometimes, when people are lucky and the surgery immediately eases their pain, they tend to be in a hurry to do all the things they have not been able to do for months and months. They end up doing too much and end up right back where they were prior to surgery.

    It will be very important to avoid bending and twisting at the waist, and to pay attention to not lifting or carrying anything heavier than about ten pounds initially and for several weeks or months thereafter.

    Regarding the trip, as long as you can recline the seat and if you really do get out about every 45-60 minutes and walk around for a few minutes, and ice your back when you get to your destination, I would think you should be OK. Just don't do the driving. That early in recovery you shouldn't drive except for short trips as holding one leg in one position for more than a short period is really hard on the SI joints and lower lumbar area.

    Some people have surgery several hours from home and have to travel to get to and from the hospital. Just use very good judgment and you should be OK. Then once you arrive, let others take care of you and take it very easy!

    Good luck.

     
    Old 11-24-2014, 10:55 AM   #3
    Moonfaceryder
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    Re: Car travel after discectomy

    Thank you for your response. He wasnt magical enough to promise no incision lol. I broke in mid august tried some anti inflammatory. 2 transforaminal injections not a dent. Both surgeons i saw said that usually by 6 weeks if it's going to heal it will get going. Mine is getting worse. Called and the surgeon i liked better isnt in the second week of december. So guess i will have to play it by ear. Hopefully i'll be good to go.

     
    Old 11-25-2014, 06:17 AM   #4
    teteri66
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    Re: Car travel after discectomy

    One time, I guess it was in between surgeries, I needed to travel cross country for a child's college graduation. I was in pretty bad shape at the time...couldn't walk much at all, etc. my surgeon gave me a Medrol pack (prednisone) to help me survive the trip.

    If you do not have surgery, you could ask for something similar...just to help you hold off surgery till the surgeon is available.

    Did you not go through a course of physical therapy?

     
    Old 11-25-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
    Moonfaceryder
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    Re: Car travel after discectomy

    I did physical therapy in may and june because in may I started having intense pain in the base of my back and I was having episodes of extreme leg pain (both legs at different times) and my leg collapsing on me. It stopped before the physical therapy. Still had the back pain but was less. I was like Rocky 4 training in Russia during physical therapy Looking at the mri from may the surgeons I saw have no clue why my legs were giving out. Then I sat down in August to eat a bowl of ice cream and started screaming. The er ctscan said herniated disk. I tried pain management didn't really help. I'm shooting for surgery 2nd week of December. This is the other surgeon I visited who said 4-6 wks for recovery. I would've gone with the 1 week back to work doctor but he is off that week.

     
    Old 11-26-2014, 05:02 PM   #6
    teteri66
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    Re: Car travel after discectomy

    Will you be having a minimally invasive surgery?

    Hope you can still enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow.

     
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