Is It Safe to Drive after Spinal Surgery?

Back and spinal surgery takes a toll on your body, and when you’re recovering, you’ll experience tension and soreness in the surrounding muscles. While it’s essential to prioritize your health and rest, it’s understandable to wonder when you’re able to get back into your everyday activities.

Driving is an essential part of many people’s lives. It’s hard to complete simple tasks like grocery shopping or picking up dry cleaning without driving. In a study published by Global Spine Journal, results from a study done on driving after spinal surgery suggested that patients who received a single-level lumbar fusion and who are not taking opioids may drive as early as two weeks following the spinal surgery.

Before attempting to drive, talk with your doctor about the estimated time of your recovery and how long your period of rest should last. Every person is unique, and working with a medical professional to see what is best for you is vital to your recovery.

Three Main Types of Back and Spine Surgery

There are many non-surgical ways to treat back pain, but if you’ve tried different types of therapies that result in little to no pain relief, it might be time to discuss surgical options. There are three main types of back and spine surgeries and can effectively correct your spinal problems.

Spinal Fusion

In many cases, spinal pain is caused when a joint is in motion. When doctors perform spinal fusion, they fuse the vertebrae together to stop the motion. While this is one of the most common types of surgery, it’s unable to be performed on multiple areas of the spine. This is because the spine provides motion to the body, and if multiple vertebrae are fused together, then the motion will be restricted, and it could cause additional pain.

Laminectomy

During this procedure, surgeons will remove a bone that’s part of the spine called the lamina. They will also remove bone spurs and ligaments during the process. Removing these will allow for more space, so the pressure that was on the spinal nerve is eliminated. Because a large portion of the bone is removed, a spinal fusion may be necessary if there’s instability in the spine. For those dealing with bone spurs or chronic pain, this is a great option.

Discectomy

In between each vertebra is a disc that acts as a shock absorber for the spine. If you’re struggling with a herniated disc or where the disc slips out of place and bulges, a discectomy may be a great solution to your pain. This removes all or part of the disc that is causing you issues.

When you suffer from back pain and require medical treatment, look to medical professionals at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for assistance. We’re invested in using the best research and technology for your treatment and work to build a recovery plan tailored to your needs.

What Are Some Ways to Increase Your Recovery Process?

The recovery process depends on the severity of your pain and injury, the type of treatment received, and unique factors relating to your health and genetics. While every person is different and needs a personalized recovery plan, a few things may help with your recovery time.

  • Avoid bending, lifting, and twisting
  • Use gentle stretching and rehab exercises
  • Get lots of rest and sleep
  • Drink plenty of water

Even if your recovery takes longer than expected, using the tips above will help ease you back into everyday activities and exercises. Talk with your doctor about what things you can do to help your recovery process.

Contact Experienced Spine Surgeons at Orthopedic & Laser Spine

Pain in the back, neck, and spine is debilitating and keeps us from experiencing all the wonderful moments that life has to offer. To get you back in action, our team of award-winning neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians use the latest research and technology to provide you with a treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.

We want you to feel comfortable in your body and work hard to help relieve your pain. For more information about our services and treatment plans, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to ongoing efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, our office hours may vary. However, our physicians will be offering ONLINE appointments during this time to address your medical needs. To learn more about this exciting new service, contact our patient advocates today!