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Comfort Post-op??

MagsMMags Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone! I have read the sticky for post-op must haves and have found this list to be invaluable. Since I haven't had my surgery yet (Jan 13; fusion L4-L5), I would like to know from your experiences the different ways you have found to make yourselves as comfortable as possible after surgery. I use extra pillows to prop myself up in bed now, but it isn't very comfortable. While lying in bed with knees bent I prop my laptop on my knees and am able to use my computer this way, though I have to change positions often. Just wondering if there are things I haven't thought of or tried yet. -Maggie


  • The position you described with laptop is still the most comfortable for me 6 months post op L5/S1 fusion. Being in a reclined position with pillows under feet and knees is the best for me.
  • Hi Maggie,
    Yes, that list is invaluable isn't it? The only thing I can add to that is maybe to purchase one of those big pillows that are made just for propping yourselft up in bed, like to watch tv. I already had one of those and used it along with other pillows after surgery, and it gives much more support then just using several pillows. Also I already had one body pillow that I had used before surgery to put between my knees, but purchased a second one for after surgery, so I had one on both sides of me. It will be difficult to roll or turn over after surgery, but I found that having one on both sides made it a little better, so that when I did roll over I wasn't having to try and wrestle my body pillow from one side to the other.
    Good luck with your journey on the road to recovery.
  • Thanks, Glor. I hadn't thought about that. I can definitely see how that could be an issue. -Maggie
  • I have been having horrible back pain that made me lay in a recliner to sleep cause I coulodnt sleep flat. Well my doctor gave me percription for hospital bed. I needed to sleep better, so now 2 years later, after my 2 level fusion it has been a lifesavor for me. I can make it flat for log rolling out of bed, have a rail to help bet out of bed and can sit partially up to use laptop etc. These are available to rent month to month, but can also get if medically nesasary by percription.
  • The two most important items for me were satin sheets and the raised toilet seat. Satin sheets are tops on my list. Actually, I found that the satin bottom sheet was so helpful. While in the hospital, I felt like I was stuck to the bed. I had no muscle strength and it was so hard to move my body. Once home, having the bottom satin sheet was perfect. It took much less energy to turn over in the bed, to sit up, to log roll, etc. Having satin PJs and satin sheets were too slippery for me -- overkill.

    I used the raised toilet seat for about the first six months. Made things so much more comfortable. I suppose if the patient is on the short side, it wouldn't matter that much.

    I see everyone recommending recliners. My doc and PT told me absolutely not to sit in a recliner...not even for a short time...that they are not sufficiently supportive in the right places. --just another example of how different docs have different preferences!
  • Hi Maggie, looks like you are having the same surgery as me, if it is posterior that is. About the lap top, I too propped it against my thighs while laying in bed. Only problem is ever since my sugery, my neck has been bugging me, and I think it may be related to my laptop use, always looking down. I now have a laptop cart that rolls. It looks like a tray table at the hospital, but slants for the laptop. I wish I had gotten it much sooner. Maybe the neck issue is coincidence, but I can't help but wonder (or maybe DDD is coursing through my spine).

    I found invaluable my satin blanky under my bum for turning (works same as the satin sheets), plastic bag for car seat, to slide in and out easily, and grabber of course. If you are in the USA, while in the hospital they may have a discharge planner see you and arrange for home equipment such as the elevated toilet seat, walker, and such. I got it all, but never liked the elevated seat they sent me home with. I did use the walker for about 3 weeks. The hospital also sent an OT to see me, and they gave me a grabber, sock putter-on-er, toilet tongs, and scrubby on a stick. So you might wait to purchase things to see what all the hospital does provide.

    I didn't have a recliner until I bought one at 6 weeks post-op. I definitely couldn't have used it sooner, as it was difficult to pop the feet up without bending to the side. I do enjoy it now though. It was pretty much lie in bed or walk except for a few minutes of sitting at the table. I have a pub-height dining set, which was easier than my regular height set in the kitchen nook.

    Oh, and don't forget help at home. I had friends from work who brought me meals my first week home. My sis and mom also were around daily helping out. My kids are teenagers and were good at tucking mom in, arranging my pillows and such. Supportive friends and family are really invaluable, including all my Spineys here on SH :)

    I wish you a successful surgery and let me know if there is anything I can help you with. >:D< Cali-Sue
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