View Full Version : Driving restrictions

Nancy Joy
10-29-2008, 01:14 PM
Curious what others have had as driving restrictions. Mine said 2 months. With my next surgery Nov. 10th, it crossed that date so I wasn't too concerned. Idiot me decided that was goofy yesterday and drove into town (9 miles out). - Thought I needed yarn from Hobby Lobby and was really craving a roast for supper. Well, I did ok but will not do that again and actually got caught by my hubby. :eek::eek: He is self employed and decided to run home yesterday to pour some concrete. I can never get by with anything!!!!!! Ha! Anyway- anyone else's that long? I am doing really well obviously. I have been able to take care of cooking, light laundry, and self care pretty much since the first week home. All is slow but heh- I have nothing but time right now. I promised I would be good and even take a nap again today. Hubby said I didn't have to worry- he was taking the keys- ha! We knew when it went so well I would have to be watched so I would behave myself. :D

10-29-2008, 02:40 PM
I was told to wait until I was off of the narcotics and generally felt comfortable driving. I think it ended up being 4 or 5 weeks post op.

10-29-2008, 03:11 PM
My surgeon told me whenever I felt comfortable with it which was 6-7 weeks post-op. I could have driven sooner.

10-29-2008, 03:15 PM
I was told not to drive while on drugs. That really had an impact on me as far as getting off the perks is concerned. That was at 5 weeks post and yes it was very painful.

One thing of interest here is the fact that they can nail you for just about anything. Laws differ in each state, in Nevada you can get nailed for being impaired. Impaired on anything. You dont want to do this in Vegas or anywhere in Nevada, we have some of the harshest laws here. Zero tolerance. Zero tolerance cost about $10000. and higher cost insurance.

My doc mentioned that the opiates stay in your system for a while, and I was wondering if anyone knows how long it takes to rid your system of opiates and also anestesia. Anestesia has about 40 diffrent drugs and was wondering?

Bad kitty!


10-29-2008, 04:52 PM
Not to try to scare anyone or anything, but about a year ago, a lady who was driving while taking painkillers hit and killed a man mowing his lawn near the edge of a road. She was charged with driving under the influence and vehicular homicide, and was convicted. So pleassssssseee be careful if you start driving before coming off all your meds!!

I started back to work at 3 months post op. Even though I hurt badly after working all day and driving the 25 miles to and from work, I would not take anything until i got home at night. It's so risky for yourself and others too. Also think about an unexpected impact from the rear, or having to execute a sudden maneuver to avoid a collision. Damage that's done to your spine now might never be undone.

Mannnnnnn I sound like an old mother, don't I??

10-29-2008, 05:37 PM
I also was told not to drive while I was still taking drugs... and since I didn't really need to go anywhere, I just didn't. I was wearing my TLSO brace too, and that made it very awkward as well. I started driving again (a little) at around 4 or 5 months. I just didn't need to drive plus doing any shopping would have been over a 30 mile drive. Everyone has different situations. Necessity would have prodded me on sooner.

10-29-2008, 05:47 PM
Happened to me too Nancy. I just HAD to have a diet coke from a Taco Villa fast food place near the house. I laid there and thought and thought and got thirstier and thirstier-they have this yummy crushed ice and their diet coke just is better than anyone's! And so I picked up the keys and off I went. Hubby came home for lunch (incidentally bringing me a Taco Villa diet coke) and saw my cup on my nightstand. Boy, did we ever have a come-to-Jesus meeting about that one. As a result I did not drive for another month, which was my 2-month appointment. He was right and I was wrong-what can I say? But it's still hard to obey every restriction-I do understand =)

10-29-2008, 10:40 PM
I was told at my 2 week follow up that I was cleared to drive since I was off of the narcotic. I didn't actually drive until somewhere between 4 and 5 weeks though. There were other drivers home with me 24/7 so I didn't need to drive.

10-29-2008, 11:05 PM
I was released to drive at 3 weeks, but just didn't until 4-5 weeks because I was walking everywhere getting ready for the 5K.

BTW, I was still on meds when I was released, but had BEEN on meds several years before (when I tried 4 years of pain management - and had a silly high NON-reaction to them. No goofiness at all. I was even driving on *Methadone* - and Soma - back then ... and programming/migrating data 16 hours a day for an SAP implementation! ... with a completely clear head - like I'd taken Advil.).

Hanson told me "You've been through this ... you know your limits". I am *sure* this isn't normal protocol.

In the hospital, I was on Dilaudid PCA, then shots, then back to PCA - PLUS 2 Percodan every 4 hours AND 2 Norco every 4 hours AND 5 mgs of Valium 3x a day. Anyone who talked to me on the phone can confirm I was NOT messed up.

(... go figure a fairly low dose of Gabapentin - 100 mg x3/day made me STOOPID for a few days until I adjusted!)

I have a very high pain tolerance, and unfortunately, a similarly high tolerance to pain meds. A tolerance that would drop someone 3-4x my size, and they NEVER make me sick. This was my biggest pre-op fear ... that they'd not be able to control my pain because of previous experiences with ankle/knee surgeries. And it was touch and go at times ... especially with infiltrating IV's ...


Nancy Joy
10-29-2008, 11:05 PM
I work for the Highway Patrol and figured it was the narcotics 'cause- yes- that is a dui- Under influence, not just alcohol. So- you would really think my knowledge should have outweighed the cravings- "trishthedish"- I loved your "busted" title (and thanks for the confession!) My sister even mentioned that possibly insurance wouldn't pay out if Dr.s' orders were "no driving". I really can't believe I did it but hadn't had narcotics for several hours so thought I would be OK. One of those things you know you screwed up on after you go for it. Mainly the pain was what I didn't take into account- painful enough as a passenger and as you all know- yes, you can rearrange- hang on, etc. but not when you are driving. Went with hubby into town tonight- still painful so I took drugs. We can do so well in our "own little world", can't we?- and thank goodness cause we need to be able to tolerate this somewhere!! I sure won't question it again but glad to know it changes somewhere along the line!!

10-29-2008, 11:12 PM
Wow I am in awe of the technology today and how quickly everyone is recovering!!!!!!!!!:eek::eek:

My 1st fusion (wasn't old enough to drive) but I hadn't even walked after 2 weeks!! Barely got my cast on and was learning to walk again!!
My 2nd fusion I had to wait til 6 months post-op!!

With today's technology and whoever is having their surgeries are very blessed that they have you up and moving so quickly. It is much better for physical and mental to get going sooner. That is just awesome!!

10-30-2008, 06:47 AM
I will admit that I drove on a low dose of Oxycontin ...the 12-hour time-release kind....starting at about 4 months post-op. I drove locally only -- no highways or yielding or anything fancy like that. What's interesting is, I never felt high or impaired in any way on the Oxy, but my husband told me, once I was finally off the stuff (at 8 months), that there was a big change in my personality while I was taking it (and not for the better!).

I had never taken narcotics before this surgery and while I am very grateful to have had them when I needed them, I hope I never have to take them again!