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Post-op sleeping positions?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Sleep Problems
I am 4 days post-op with a L4-L5 Microdiscectomy and am having trouble sleeping. I've been on my back with pillows under my legs since the surgery, but can't seem to get comfortable that way anymore. I've tried lying on my sides but I'm just not sure that it's healthy to lay that way. Does lying on your side affect the spine alignment? What about lying on your stomach? Are these positions physically unhealthy ways to sleep? I still have some nerve pain and am getting some pain in my hips now, which I assume is all normal and due to edema. I'm just so concerned about allowing this disc to heal so it doesn't herniate again. Any suggestions are appreciated.


  • Hello Liz, i had the same problem with sleeping positions. And i couldnt get comfortable for the life of me..... So finally i called up one of those places that delivers a medical bed to your house, its just like a hospital bed, and you can choose what kind of mattress you want, firm or soft. I chose firm becuase its better for your back. When i sleep in mine , i sleep on my back with the bed kind of upright and the end of the bed is up right also with a pillow underneath my thighs/legs.it takes the pressure off of your spine. and it makes a big difference. and you can control the bed with a little remote so you dont put any strain on your back....

    If your insurance will cover it, then i would highly recommend you get a medical bed to be delivered. OR sleep in a recliner if you have one, put pillows behind you, and at the end of the footrest.... Sleeping kind of upright works for me with my legs elevated......i tried all the sleeping positions you tried in my bed and i was miserable also. I slept in my recliner which helped a lot before i got my bed...and im starting to sleep on my sides with a pillow between my legs,and i dont feel discomfort....and i dont think it affects the alignment.....I hope i helped out a little. and i wish you a full recovery. :)


  • So sorry to hear of your discomfort. In 2003 I had an anterior and posterior L3/4-S-1 fusion. Major surgery...16 hours spread over 2 days. I was fitted with a body cast/brace and wore it for 3 months. For the first month I had to sleep strictly on my back. The next month I could sleep how ever comfortable-back or side-and the last month with no brace-back and sides only. Per my surgeon sleeping on your stomach is a no-no...too much strain on the lumbar. Now I'm scheduled for another big surgery on July 27...fusion of T-4 thru L-23. I will again be in a cast to 3 months.

    I am looking into buying an adjustable bed also. I need my legs and my head slightly elevated to relieve the discomfort. But if you're looking for a temporary solution a recliner would work or just have alot of pillows handy to prop up your knees. Hopefully after a week or 2 the pain will subside.
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