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How do you

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Wash your hair after fusion surgery? Every way I think about it, you are either twisting or bending. I can't stand it if I don't wash my hair every day - ech! What is the usual time frame for when you can have an actual shower?


  • When i had my back surgery i had to wait a month to go to a salon and have it done! :jawdrop: Man, did my head itch! To this day i have to wash my hair in the shower, i am not allowed to bend over in the sink. I was told i could shower two weeks later and not to get the scar wet so i did not wash the upper part of my back i used a washrag and wiped my back around the scar. Before showering was allowed i sat on a shower chair and washed with a washrag and a pitchers of water.

    Evelyn :H

    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • In the shower. I was allowed to take short showers after a week. Actually had one in hospital. But at home had surgery Thursday, went home Tues and showered Thurs.
  • I do not know much about back surgery but when I had my neck surgeries, I was not allowed to shower for 2 weeks (until the stiches were out). They do make a product called "Waterless Shampoo" that you should find in a beauty supply store. It is still not really easy to use alone but it does help to make your hair feel cleaner. You just put it on, lather it up and towel dry. I preferred to use a comb to try and get any of the residue out before towel drying but, like I said, it does help along with the washing of the body with sponges and/or towels. I hope this helps.

  • A week for a shower :jawdrop: ECH! @) :SS Maybe it is a good thing, I will be so preoccupied with feeling gross that maybe it will distract me a little from the pain? :O I was thinking after I typed the question that maybe I should get one of those shower seats and then kinda tip my head forward and keep my back straight. :?
  • After this fusion, if you are like me, you will sleep so much that you wont have time to worry about it. They do have some pretty cool new wash clothes that they heat in micro and give you sponge bath, Made me feel better and then, off to sleep again. :)
  • here's what I did- bring to the hospital a packet of those face wash towlettes- I would run one of those through my hair and towel my hair as well. Or you could run a damp washcloth through your hair.
    The nurse said they use to have these shower caps with shampoo in them that you microwave and put on your head and massage it in--- doesnt know what happened to them though-

    When i got home after the first fusion surgery I was told to cover my sutures with plastic wrap and then i could shower almost immediately.

    This time I didnt have to use plastic wrap, was ok to get sutures wet (kept dressing on changed them after shower) and shower was ok 5 days post op
    Just kind of bend your head back into the water without arching your back .(you are having lumbar not cervical right?)
    Practice before you go in - you have some time yet!
    Good luck
  • Hi there,

    I could have cared less who saw me and the shape of my hair! I like to shower daily, but given how I felt I was happy to lay in bed, sleep and occationally watch TV.

    If it really bothers you, take a ball cap to wear when walking laps around the nurses station. Oh, and a house coat unless you enjoy mooning the nurses!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Before I had surgery, I was worrying about how I would look after surgery. I always showered every day and washed my hair. Well, let me tell you, after my fusion I could have walked up and down the halls naked and I wouldn't have given a damn who was looking at me. Maybe it was the pain or pain meds, but the whole experience had me so much focused inward on myself that I didn't ever even think to comb my hair.

    I didn't much care after I got home either...I was actually allowed to shower prior to when I actually felt like doing it. I could get my sutures wet. Just replaced the bandage after carefully patting the incision dry.

    I forbade anyone from coming to visit me in the hospital, too, other than immediate family. :O
  • I was able to take a shower and wash my hair the night after surgery. They said not to let the water directly hit my lower back, but other than that it was just the matter of following BTL restrictions. Once at home I took a shower every other day, using the shower chair and help from my hubby, I have a walk in shower so it was alot easier than a tub.

    I let my hair grow long before I had surgery, that way I could just stick it up in a bun or pony tail and not worry about bedhead to much,lol.

    Good Luck,
  • I know surgery is going to hurt and it scares me to death :SS but, I just needed some tips on how to handle some of the other stuff that is going to come up before I actually get there and then have no clue what to do. I think most of us would agree that you feel better when you are freshened up a bit ya know? :))( :D
  • Washing my hair was a big concern for me, too. I can't stand not washing my hair every day. It is not about how it looks but how it feels.

    For the hospital, I went to a home medical place and bought a blow-up shower bowl like they use in nursing homes. You blow it up and it has a hose to drain the water. It was about $12, I think. My friend slid it under my head in the hospital bed - with lots of towels under it in case it leaked - put a trash can for the water to drain into and washed my hair by pouring water over my head with a pitcher.
    It worked great!

    I was not allowed to shower for 14 days after surgery. So, until I could shower, I did sponge baths by sitting at the sink. Then I would just sorta bend my head only over the sink while my husband washed my hair by pouring water over it. When I could finally get into the shower it was heaven. I got a shower stool and just leaned my head back to wash my hair. It wasn't a problem.

    The other biggie for me was shaving my legs. If that is a concern for you then ask and I will tell you how I handled that.
  • After my surgery, I sat on a chair in the shower and my hubby did all the work - he held the shower nozzle where I needed it while I soaped up and he washed and rinsed my hair. When the shower was done, he dried me off, helped me get dressed and changed the dressing on my incision. We were both a little sad when I was able to do it myself because it was quite intimate and enjoyable. He just loved the whole thing. :X

  • :X :) Cath that is totally sweet! Thanks for sharing! :)
  • Hey, Cath, your husband sounds as swell as mine. He already told me that he'd get his dad's shower chair and help me shower. Hope he doesn't think it will lead to anything more! Thanks for the advice. I have surgery sceduled C3-7 for March. Any other helpful advice? Edie
  • I'm with you on the clean thing. No offense, guys, but you can tell that you're not as interested as the ladies in the hair/shower thing. We can't just put on a ball cap, at least I can't. Makes me look worse. I'm already conducting seminars with my son and hubby on blow drying my hair. If you aren't allowed to put your arms up and wash it, you certainly can't style it. I'm having cervical surgery C3-7 in March. Sounds kind of petty, but a girl has to worry about how she looks. of course, from what I'm reading here, I'll probably be so drugged up that I won't give a FRA. Good luck to you!
  • You could rub your hair with a face cloth but I think it's better to have a shower seat. But I haven't had surgery yet but good luck and hope all goes well with your surgery and recovery. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I was able to shower immediately after I got home. I showered my hair everyday after I got home :)
  • I also washed my hair prior to surgery and felt yucky by the day after surgery. As soon as we got home from the hospital my husband went to the drugstore to get my meds filled and I had look for the dry shampoo you spray and comb in. I wasn't picky and he found one in a can like hairspray. It wasn't the same as washing your hair but it was a lifesaver because it made me feel and smell better. The hospital wouldn't let me leave w/o a shower chair which really helps you with the no BLT. What a blessing to have my husband help me shower and wash my hair when I finally could shower! My favorite part of the day was when my husband would ask if I was ready for my shower! Once the sponge baths and bad hair days are over you will begin to feel better even if you are still weak and have pain.
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