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Thread: 4 weeks post-op & long drive for post-op visit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    40

    4 weeks post-op & long drive for post-op visit

    I had my surgery by a very well respected surgeon who is three hours away from my home. I'm pleased with who I choose (after much research) and the work that he has done. My dilemna is that I was able to go home a lot sooner after surgery than I expected (a good thing) which means I have to make the three hour drive back to his office for my initial post-op visit. I was wondering if anyone else has had to do this and what type of vehicle they rode in for long distances so soon after surgery.

    For my ride home after the surgery, I rode in a camry which had a pretty smooth ride. I was also on heavy duty pain meds and just tried to keep relaxed the best I could until we got home. Thank God everything went well and we were home and I thought that would be it for long rides. Wrong. I tried to make an appointment with a doctor in my home town but due to changes in his schedule, they won't be able to see me until August so it looks like I might be stuck having to go the long distance.

    I just rode in a van yesterday for my local appointment to my primary doctor which is only 20 minutes away from home and could not get comfortable to save my life. I couldn't help but think last night, how in the world am I going to make the three hour distance in the van if I was so uncomfortable yesterday after only 20 minutes. Needless to say, by the time I arrived home and got out of the van, I realized how tense and tight my muscles had become and it took all afternoon and evening for my body to settle down. I am no longer on the heavy duty pain meds so I think between that and the contour of the van seats, things just didn't work for me yesterday. I'm wondering if I need to rent a vehicle but don't know which vehicle would be best to rent. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience in this?

    Marjorie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    My advice would be lots of pillows, recline the seat, and strong pain meds. I had a 6 hour drive 2 weeks post op and even with all that was previously mentioned it was rough.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    104

    Three hour drive

    Marjorie, I also had a three hour drive for my 2 wk post-op visit. I agree with Pam that a pillow along with reclining the seat (even just slightly) will give you a much more comfortable ride. We have a crossover vehicle which made it much easier to maneuver in & out of. Be sure to stop midway too. It may seem like a hassle, but it will make the ride bearable.
    Donna
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    Yes forgot mention I also have a crossover vehicle
    which does help....smooth ride and no squatting down getting
    in and out.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    213
    Hi Marjorie,

    Yep, pillows are a good thing. I now use one specific pillow in cars and it is the best thing--it is soft enough not to put pressure on my back but it also supplies a bit of support. I bought it at Kohls. This is it:

    http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/bedr...per+Pillow.jsp

    I don't remember when I started to use it--at how many weeks/months post surgery, but I know I can go for pretty long car rides without much discomfort using it. I am now nine months post surgery and we often make four hour treks south on the weekends.

    Hope this helps!
    Discovered scoliosis when 15 years old.
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace for 1.5 years.
    Top curve 85 degrees, bottom curve 60 degrees

    Surgery completed August 23, 2011 (during an earthquake, can you believe that?)
    Dr. Charles Edwards, II
    The Spine Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD
    Before and after xrays:
    http://www.valley-designs.com/myspine

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