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Posted : July 19, 2010
Learning to dive - After Spinal Surgery

About 6.5 years ago I had Spinal Fusion to treat Scoliosis. After about 1-2 years post op my Surgeon lifted all restrictions. He informed me I could do anything the general population did.

There is no effect on my breathing caused by the scoliosis or back surgery. I'm currently very active and managing the heavy equipment shouldn't be a problem, as I regularly carry well in excess of 20-25KG while i go Rock Climbing.

The PADI medical seems to request I go to a Doctor to get signed off to be fit to Dive.

a) Is this really required based on my surgeons advice?
b) What would the Doctor be looking for?
c) What risks are there with diving after spinal surgery
Posted : July 19, 2010
Sorry a should have read:

a) Even though my surgen lifted all restrictions, would I still need to go and see a Doctor, Can this Doctor be my GP or would it need to be a specialist?
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
Additional Comment

Posted : July 19, 2010 by - Dr Oliver Firth
Hi and thanks for the query.

PADI require a doctor's sign off, but that doctor does not require specific training in diving medicine. You could therefore approach your GP initially - some are happy to complete these forms, but many won't on the basis that they don't have knowledge of diving. The medical would be assessing your functional and exercise capacity (which from the above sounds more than adequate), and would probably involve some lung function testing in addition. Provided you manage the physical assessment there should be no problem with diving.

Regards, Dr O

Additional Comment

Posted : July 19, 2010 by - Audioillity
Hi Dr. Firth,

Thank you for your prompt answer. I think I'll contact my Dr. Surgery and ensure my GP is happy to complete this form first, before I fork out the cash for an appointment (I'm from Guernsey) no NHS here.

I'll also speak to my Dive School with regards to what i need to take with me.
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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