When can I drive after Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)?
It may surprise you to hear that many of our patients report that they feel more confident driving after their ACDF than they did before the operation. This finding is consistent with the results of a recent study completed by Kelly et al. at the Washington University School of Medicine in 2013. In their research they discovered that “many patients suffering from radiculopathy or myelopathy from cervical disc disease are limited in their ability to operate an automobile.” However, their results also showed that post-operatively “following anterior cervical spine surgery, most patients are able to return to comfortable driving at 6 weeks.” Of course, each patient is different and must assess his or her own ability to drive safely. Patients who continue to take pain medication or muscle relaxants are also cautioned against driving while possibly impaired.