View Full Version : Post Op questions

04-16-2007, 12:06 AM
Hi, I had a couple post-op questions. I should have asked these questions at my one month appointment, but I was still in a lot of pain at the time.

1) How long did any of you go without driving?

2) When were any of you allowed to swim and take a bath?

:) Thanks for the repsonses!!

04-16-2007, 01:52 AM
Hi Amber,

Taking a bath depends on how safe you will be and you have to wait until your incision heals.

Once your incision is healed, I can't imagine anyone that would want you to not go swimming, when you feel up to it, because it is great therapy.

Driving, I think depends on the individual, I wasn't able to drive for several months, even though I was told I could. There are many here that drove much sooner than I was able to.

I think it depends on the lenght of fusion, whether you're in a brace and how confortable you feel doing it. For me I didn't want to drive in my brace because it limited my mobility and I have never been good at driving using my mirrors to back up. And parrallel parking was a bitch for me. But everyone's different!!! And don't forget that!!!


04-16-2007, 03:45 AM
What is actually the inhibitor to driving, since everyone seems to find it a problem for some period of time?

Is is the pain-killers affecting your responses, is it pain in the back, flexibility, arms, getting into the car, or what?

Feeling scared as I live alone and drive everywhere and can't imagine getting a tram to work in a post-op state (if I can't drive I certainly can't stand up on a crowded tram!). I guess this is based on an assumption that some people are going back to work before they resume driving.

Plus I've just got a new car!!!


04-16-2007, 05:18 AM
The problem with driving is you won't be able to twist like you did before surgery. The motion of turning the steering wheel also can be a problem after surgery until you feel better. Also bumps in the road become painful! If you take pain medicine, you are not supposed to drive - if you get stopped or in an accident, it's driving under the influence.

04-16-2007, 06:13 AM
Thanks rainbow!

04-16-2007, 01:32 PM
I was told I can't swim for 9 months. I'm not sure about how long you can't drive but I agree with the bumps in the road issue. I think after a month you should be fine but it's up to your doctor and of course if you're still on the meds. Taking a bath is also up to your doctor because the incision has to be healed first. You can't even take a shower until 7 days after your surgery.

04-17-2007, 05:45 AM
My daughter took a shower 5 days after surgery. We covered the incision with saran wrap and waterproof tape to hold it down. I took one three days after my revision surgery using saran wrap also.

04-17-2007, 10:10 PM
Hey, thank you so much for all your responses. How long was it for all of you to really see the results from having your surgery done? Thanks!

04-18-2007, 12:04 AM
Hi Amber,

How about seeing the results from your surgery the first time you stand up?! You are straighter and taller. Most lose their hump completely so you can see it is gone. (Hand mirror, looking over shoulder.) I had extra skin in my torso from shrinking so I seemed thinner right away. How does that all sound? Instant gratification! Sure you will be sore but, with all these positives it sure helps the mind to focus on the good aspects right away.

As for driving, the checking of blind spots and switching lanes are tough. Twisting is a no no. My back up camera helped a ton but you can't use it for everything. Also, the drugs make you unable to drive until you get the dose low enough to function normally. Best wishes.

04-18-2007, 02:10 PM
I couldn't take a shower or bath for a few weeks after surgery because of my incision. That all depends on how fast it heals.

I couldn't drive for 4 months and even then it was difficult. Bumps in the road are a killer pain wise and twisting to check for traffic at junctions etc was very difficult. Of course, this will vary on the length of the fusion and your age and things, but don't rush at it.

For your other question, my surgeon didn't allow me to swim for 6 months.

As to seeing results, it was a really "wow" moment from the time I woke up and found that I had lost my rotation (which was pretty bad). First time you see yourself in a mirror stood up it will blow you away!

Good luck with it all....

04-18-2007, 05:09 PM
Thank you both. I was amazed by my results. I can't wait till the swelling and numbness goes away!!!

04-19-2007, 08:22 PM
I drove after 6 weeks but very cautiously and only little drives. The twisting is the thing that gets you pshycologically afraid of driving but it is actually not so bad. I was also very scared of having even a small accident because I didn't want to dislodge anything. I had a shower in hospital on about day 5 and think I bathed at home at about 7 weeks. It was very difficult getting in and out. I had a hospital chair in the shower which was awesome. Didn't want to give it up. I was walking laps in the pool at about 4 weeks and swimming at about 8. I couldn't float until then. Good Luck!

04-24-2007, 11:51 AM
I was dirivng 6-weeks post-operation since I had to go back to work... But doctors do prohibit you from driving especially while you are taking narcotics.

Driving alone and after surgery was the scariest thing. Especially since your movement is limited and you cannot twist or turn as much to check your blind spots, etc. I have had many close calls (literally) changing lanes and almost driving into another vehicle. So, definately be careful!

My surgeon did not let me shower until 2-weeks post-operations...

I do not know how to swim and I would like to learn! How long should I wait before I start taking lessons? I asked my sugrgeon over e-mail, and he never responds to my questions...

I hear water therapy is great.

04-26-2007, 01:26 AM
Hi Pips,

I had the "wow" moment too!!! It's amazing what can be done for us!!!


04-26-2007, 10:01 PM
I really appreciate all the feedback. I finally got to drive this past weekend ( 7 weeks post-op). I am only allowed to drive 30 minutes at a time. My top of my back is still pretty numb. How long did that last for all of you?