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How soon after my degenerative disc disease surgery can I drive?

As you plan for your degenerative disc disease surgery, you’ll probably have a lot of questions about what you can expect during your recovery. For instance, you may be wondering when you will be able to resume your daily routine, which most likely involves driving to work, running errands and the like.

It’s important to remember that every patient, spinal condition and surgical procedure is different. For accurate information that applies specifically to your unique situation, your best source is the surgeon who will perform your procedure. He or she can provide personalized advice and guidance, along with a step-by-step rehabilitation program designed to help you return to activity both quickly and safely.

When will you be able to get back behind the wheel?

You’ll need to arrange for transportation home after your surgery, and consider how you will get to your follow-up appointments in the days that follow. But, at what point after that will you be able to drive yourself again?

Only your own surgeon will be able to answer this question with any degree of certainty. Before advising you, he or she will consider a number of factors, including your safety as well as that of the general public. Of course, not being to drive can also present a significant hardship, both to you and others. As a general rule of thumb (to be used for planning purposes only), if you are not taking any medications that could affect your reaction time, your surgeon may clear you for driving anytime between 48 hours and three weeks after your degenerative disc disease surgery. But, it bears repeating that you’ll need to discuss the specifics of your situation with your surgeon, who can recommend the most appropriate timeline for you. The goal is to allow you to resume various activities, including driving, as soon as possible, while also ensuring that your spine has adequate time to heal properly and completely.

Minimally invasive surgery

Before moving forward with degenerative disc disease surgery, you should be sure to explore all of your treatment options and learn as much as you can about each of them. For instance, there are several different surgical techniques that can be used to address a degenerated disc, and the associated recovery periods can vary widely.

The surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive outpatient surgery, which is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages over open neck and back procedures.^ Among other things, this approach can help you get back to driving sooner.

If you’d like to find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive degenerative disc disease surgery at USA Spine Care, contact us to request more information.

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