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My 80-year-old father was told that he needs cervical spine surgery due to severe encroachment of C4 & C5 on the central canal (as a result of arthritis in his neck). Oddly enough, he has no pain in his neck but has been having balance problems for the past year. I'm concerned that if he has the surgery in a few weeks, he won't be able to make it to his only grandson's bar mitzvah two hours away (by car) that will happen four weeks post-surgery. The doctor thinks that he will be OK to attend but I am skeptical. The best time for him to have the surgery would be in January, about five months from now, but I'm wondering if it's unwise to wait that long. He's going for a second opinion tomorrow. Any comments from someone who's had the surgery? Thanks.

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I am in my late 40's but after having this surgery I could ride 2 hrs after 4 wks with breaks.
The one thing that bothered me the most besides sitting was bumps in the road or anything that jarred or moved my neck (after 3 yrs I still have this problem). I went to the drug store and purchased a neck pillow that hugs the entire neck with an opening in the front. This allowed me to rest my head, neck and I could put pressure on the back of my neck against the seat to help stabilize my neck from all of the bumps and stops. It helped me tremendously.
My surgeon did not order me to wear a neck collar. I guess because I was fused also. I wish I would have discovered this type of pillow immediately after surgery. Having one whether your Father travels much or not (I even use it at home) may help ease his pain somewhat.
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It is possible to travel four weeks after surgey, as KSF mentioned frequent breaks is key. Personally, I couldn't sit for more than an hour. I had to wear my cervical brace (not soft collar) for 8 weeks post op. Bumps are a pain in the neck. It was helpful to be aware of upcoming bumps as to brace myself. The neck pillow or cervical roll is great. Hope this helps.
Good luck, the unknown is scary.
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