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How do you?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
How do you make yourself comfortable after a lumbar fusion surgery? How did you lay in bed, on your back or side? When you sat, what kind of chair felt better? In the week before my surgery, I have to go through the house and make sure eveything is ok for my recovery. What is probably the most important thing you can think of having for the first few days home from the hospital? Thanks for all your advice!


  • Hi,
    My dad had a fusion last summer. He had a walker for a while, which was a big help (I wanted one after my laminectomy discectomy, ha!)I used one of those grab-it poles, so I wouldn't have to bend over to pick things up, I would think that would be helpful for you too. Don't get the cheap kind, mine was around $20 and worked well.

    I'm not sure how he slept in bed, I'm guessing on his back with pillows under his knees, but I'm not positive.

    Take care.
  • Hi Kaz,

    Did you look up the first sticky, "Post-op needs?" It has lots of good suggestions.

    Personally, I found sleeping on my back with the top supported by a foam wedge under my pillow and another pillow under my knees was the best position. At first, my mattress seemed very hard but after we bought a 3" thick memory foam mattress top it felt like I was sleeping on a cloud.

    At first, ergonomic computer chairs were the most comfortable, and we also bought a zero-gravity recliner (expensive but they have real good deals on Craig's list). For a while, I carried with me a small pillow to restaurants in case the chairs were too hard or uncomfortable. I used a plastic bag to slide in and out of the car, but later on there was a thread here that advised against it, apparently in a car crash it can create problems. It worked for me though.

    Other than that, I had one long grabber to pick up bulky items, and a shorter, finer one with a magnet on the end to pick up small items or metal objects.

    That is about it I can think of.

    Good luck,

  • a memory foam pillow to sit on. They help a lot.
  • I bought two grabbers, a small table with wheels (like the one at the hospital), a a memory form cushion. I didn't have fusion but I did have an incision on my back and was most comfortable on my back. I also have several ice bags (soft gel ones) to lie on for pain and swelling as instructed by the hospital.

    Good luck!

    BTW...i really wish i had one of those zero gravity chair.
  • A hospital bed, (you can rent one) grabber, laptop and rolling table to put on, a bedside table with small plastic baskets to keep meds, paper and pen(for keeping track of meds. You will find it handy to write down when you take pain meds so you dont forget) walker, a friend or relative for the first week or so. Recliners are nice, just watch where the handle is, you might not be able to reach it without bending or twisting.
  • Iowarobin, I also rented a hospital bed which my insurance paid for and it was a total lifesaver the first few weeks. It has side rails to help you turn and also you can lift your legs/knees and head to a comfortable position. The hand grabby things are a must - I lucked out our local Health Department rents medical equipment for 10 dollars for three months - you may want to check yours. We got a hospital bed table, the grabbers and a walker (which I never used). Also we bought an electric recliner and I spend 90% of my time in that thing when I am sitting or resting. They can be pricey, but I found it so worth the money. Just be sure it has good lumbar support.
  • To have everything you might need on the countertops or shelves (even in the fridge) where you can reach them without bending or reaching up high. Convenience will be important.

    I had to buy a 2nd reacher because one day I was home alone and dropped something then dropped my reacher! Also, nice to have one at one end of the house and one at the other end because you always need one and it is never in the room you need it! LOL!

    I sleep on my back with a pillow under my legs. Oh yes, have extra pillows because for some reason I needed to change them to get comfortable, softer, firmer, at different times.

    Good Luck!
  • I have alot of the same pointers as Kathy :)

    Keep everything at waist level around the house...bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, etc. Make meals ahead of time and freeze them and keep easy stuff to throw together or grab. A raised up toilet seat I think is a godsend. Lots of pillows. Usually the doc will let you lay however your comfortable. Help the first couple days. Clear off your nightstand or grab a TV tray to put at the bedside for your drink with a straw for sure, meds, etc. A grabber is really great & a walker is a luxury if you can get one. I used it for about a week only.

    and lastly some patience and then some more!!!
    Good luck
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