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2 level spine fusion- Items helpful for the healing process

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I will be having a 2 level spine fusion (L4-S1) in about 2 weeks. I am curious as to what items may be helpful at home for the healing process to make life a little easier and to make sure that i dont ruin anything during the healing process. Thanks


  • of this forum is a topic. post op must haves. That will give you lots of good info. I had to have a 2 level PLIF last Dec. Good Luck and PM me if you want to visit.
  • Here's the link:


    The list is very long and inclusive. You certainly will not need or want everything on the list, but it does get you thinking about recovery.

    The important thing to remember is that you will not be allowed to bend at the waist, twist, reach overhead or to the sides, push or pull or lift anything heavier than about 5 pounds, or a gallon of milk for the first three months. It is helpful if you arrange your kitchen and refrigerator so that the things you will need are easy to reach.

    The most important items for me were a raised toilet seat, a shower bench or chair, a "grabber" that is great even after you've recovered, and a satin bottom sheet. It takes so much energy to reposition yourself after surgery and a slippery sheet really makes the task easier. Some people prefer satin PJs but I liked the sheet. I found that having a top and bottom satin sheet was overkill, but I liked the bottom sheet. In the hospital, dressed in all cotton with cotton sheets I felt like I was stuck with velcro to the bed. It took immense effort to move.

    I moved a twin bed into the den and made that my recovery spot. I could go up the stairs, but I wanted to be on the first floor during the day. The couch would not be firm enough and I wanted to be able to stretch out whenever I needed to. This was the best solution for me. I did it again when I had my second surgery in Jan.

    You will be limited to how long you can sit, and the best position is to be lying down, so the bed worked very well. Some people rent hospital beds, but I got along fine with a regular bed.

    You will need comfortable flat walking shoes that you can get on and off easily. It is very important that you walk from the day after your surgery. It is the best exercise as it stretches out the spinal nerves and helps to prevent scar tissue from forming around the nerves. It also helps freshly oxygenated blood circulate through the surgical area. So plan your day so that you walk and rest, walk and rest.

    You will probably want someone around the house for the first week or two. You may not need it, but, particularly the first week you will be very sore and tired. You will not want to have to cook or even find food for yourself at the beginning.

    Think about what you will want to wear. Will you have a brace? I liked baggy pants with elastic waists as I didn't want anything remotely tight around the mid-section.

    Hope this gives you a couple things to think about as you get ready for surgery. x
  • Like thye've already mentioned - the list is great for giving you an idea of what you might need, and yes, it is extensive!

    You will probably find that you don't need everything, but use your intuition and use the list as a guide.

    I myself (a fellow 2-level'r) found that the toilet seat riser was a nuisance, along with the shower chair. I also got along without a grabber (couldn't find one in time). But, I did have the riser and the chair, my nurse insisted for safety reasons. So, despite the nuisance, some things are good for your healing.

    The most helpful items for me were:

    The 'basket' for items I needed by my bedside -pills, pencil, notepad, remotes etc...

    The garbage bag for the car seat ride home!

    Lots of easy-to-make, easy-to-digest foods for when I was left home alone afterwards.

    and... My laptop! I LOVED having it in the hospital, I spent some sleepless nights posting here and keeping my mind occupied until the next pain med dose! (I spent 9 days in the hospital due to my complications - more than the 3-4 I had expected)

  • Just remember to keep everything high so you can reach it. The plastic on the seat to get home, helped. I used the grabber or Gopher from Walmart. I was suprised at how many things I dropped and was able to get with them. Slick sheets or PJs are good especially for the first few days. A table or night stand by your bed with pain meds and water helped. Those were the only things from the have to haves I used. Use what ever helps you. Best wishes and God Bless!
  • I had a bed tray that I loved. It held everything I needed. I spent a lot of time in my bed the first week and a half. I use my reacher/grabber thing more than I expected to. I had one of the Gopher things but it broke pretty quickly, I bought a medical one at walgreens that is much sturdier but also cost double what the Gopher cost. Crocs are a wonderful thing. The best shoe they ever made and easy to put on. BIG, UGLY, Granny panties or Boxers. LOL They are great. They are comfy and easy to get on and off. My surgery was an open one at L4 so my panty line runs across the incision. Snug undies would hurt.
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