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Thread: handicap placard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Sacramento, CA area

    handicap placard

    Just wondering if anyone post surgery has obtained a temporary handicap placard from their DMV? My initial thought was that I shouldn't get one because I've been told to walk as much as I can, which I do. But many friends have suggested that I get one because of the weather. I'm so afraid of slipping in the rain, and also because I cannot walk very fast, I'm pretty drenched by the time I get inside!

    So I requested that my surgeon's office complete a DMV handicap placard form, but I was told that they do not believe in them because they want their patients to walk as much as possible!

    So should I just "suck it up" and not feel like such a baby about walking in the rain or my biggest fear, slip and fall in it, or go to my PCP and see if she will agree to do it? What are your thoughts?
    Age 57
    Posterior fusion w/thoracoplasty T2-L3 Oct 1, 2010
    Thoracic curve corrected from 61* to 16*
    Lumbar curve, unknown measurement
    Disfiguring back hump GONE!!
    Dr Munish Gupta
    UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    hi Laurie
    i havent had surgery...yet...but i have a handicapped card for the car...when i lived in Manhattan, it was cab or walk...but now in the country, there is no way i will risk slipping on the ice!

    you dont HAVE to use it...if you feel up to walking, fine..i don't know if Sacramento ever gets ice!...but there just might be a day you've walked too much, and then need to go to the store, and shouldn't walk anymore...

    i think ANY doctor should be willing to sign for one for you!! maybe your GP would do is ridiculous, in my opinion, for any doctor, surgeon or not, to refuse!! you never know when you just might need it!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    British Columbia
    Agree with Jess, I'd definitely get one if I could and use it only on the days when I felt it necessary. I don't see the big deal at all. Around here we have spaces designated just for parents with babies/strollers so why not for those who have just had 'major' surgery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    My surgeon didn't believe in giving me one, but my primary doctor did. He issued me a temporary one, which was great. I had my surgery in December, so it helped around the malls and stores. good luck


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Central NJ
    Yes, I had a temporary 6 month card that hung on the rear view mirror. My surgery was mid October, and I didn't want to slip and fall on winter ice. That first year, I felt like I was 'breakable' and wanted to protect myself from falls as much as possible.
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I didn't even ask my surgeon's office - they seem so busy w/other stuff.

    My internist thought it was a great idea, so I have one. I live in the "frozen tundra" and I have no desire to slip on the ice and fall, hard. Actually, if I hadn't had the placard, I probably would have been housebound, on and off (mostly "on"), for most of last winter.

    Your surgeon's office is like many (I gather): they sometimes suffer from self-rightous blarney. . .I mean, all you are asking is that you can get into the mall safely. Obviously, the majority of your walking will be INSIDE the mall. So, if you elect to stay home due to fear of falling on ice, you - obviously - will be walking less that day than if you had gone out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ukiah CA
    laurie that completey ridiculou because of my orther medical problems i chould get one but shince i don't know how the drive. when my aunt took me to my 6 months postop appt she has a handical placard (she had a spinal cord injury)
    Last edited by kennedy; 10-25-2012 at 02:04 AM.
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008

    I have a neighbor down the street who has 1 fused level with 2 screws. He has his handicapped placard, and is on disability.

    I have 33 screws and had a broken shoulder and was told to park in the back of the parking lot and walk in. If I had 2 broken legs at the same time, I might have had a chance.

    I think your best shot would be through your GP. Make sure you “moan” when you ask. That must be the difference! LOL and don’t ask for the “temporary” 5 year card.

    On a serious note...walking is very important.
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

    My x-rays

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Ames, Iowa
    I was given one either since they wanted me to walk, walk, walk. However, in the winter months last year I really could have used one--way too much ice and snow. Yak tracks--not sure of spelling--were a saving grace on my boots though. Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    British Columbia
    I didn't realize that 'H' stickers were so hard to get. Maybe it's b/c of limited parking available in the city? Does anyone out there sell/forge them? I bet they'd make a killing, lol. Around here, there's no parking metres, the streets are wide and there's plenty of parking. I guess it just depends on where you live. If I lived in a busier place I might even make myself a hanging 'H' if I needed it for a while; I'm sure I'd get away with it with a post-op son.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    My PCP signed off for one for me. There's much more to it than just the walking... one is the narrow regular parking spaces and trying to get out of the car without twisting. Here in Indiana many of the lots have very skinny spots. I noticed while visiting my daughter in NH that their spots are wider... so maybe that varies. Another is carrying bags very far. And yes, some of us live in icy/snowy places. Walking if you aren't carrying anything is one thing, but it's totally different if you've been shopping.
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

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