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Post lumbar fusion surgery

Scott in the UKSScott in the UK Posts: 136
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everybody,
I'm due to have lumbar fusion of L4/5 in 8 days time and got to thinking about things I might need following my op'.

I've bought a 'riser/recliner chair' and I'm getting a raised toilet seat to make it easier to use and I'm also going to get a type of stick with a claw type end and a trigger to enable the user to pick things up off the floor without bending.

Can anyone think of anything else I might need ?

Thanks in advance,


  • I just replied on your last post - getting ready to hit the pillows...

    Comfy - easy (no twist or bend) clothes, same for shoes.
    Your wife is there, so food prep not needed.
    Grabber (the claw thing) you have that covered, toilet covered.
    Silky (I know hehe not manly) PJ's to help you get out of bed - silk sheets too!
    If needed, move toilet paper so you don't twist.
    A bowl for teeth brushing, to reduce bending.
    Support/hand holds for your shower.
    Chair for your shower.
    Move soap, shampoos, shave materials up so you don't bend to get them.
    Moving things you use a LOT so you don't bend for them.

    There is more, but the brain is fading. Hope these help. I haven't had lumbar surgery yet, but know it's coming, so been (sniff) thinking these things out! :)

    Hope they help!!! Nite/nite!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Best wishes on your upcoming surgery. Great suggestions above.

    For showering, the chair was a must for me, as well as a hand-held shower hose. Next to my bed, I had a table with everything I needed right there, which included my heating pad, medications, water, reading material, remote for the TV and phone. If you have a rolling cart or tea cart, even better to use for that table so you can move things from your bedside to beside your chair. Gel ice packs in the freezer and a small towel to wrap it in were great to have too.

    If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. Have a great day!

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Good Luck with the surgery Scott.
    As it is winter time have you a socks aid, to help you put on your socks? I found that very useful when I had my surgery.
    Try not to rush your surgery even if you feel you can do more.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • if you can afford it .twin rise and recline adjustable beds would be handy {see the sensaform revolution at sleepmasters} its a velda in a sleep master badge {velda are very expensive beds same as temper} we have a pair .any way you seem to have everything cover and i am a little envious that you are being seen so quickly as you know i have to wait months !.wishing you well scott good luck
  • I just posted stuff for post-op on your other thread too.

    I'll add to have a walker handy. I didn't think I'd need one, but many times those of us that have had lumbar surgery find that our nerves flare up big time making it very difficult to walk for a week or two. If you don't need it, great, but if you do, you'll be very grateful.

    The grabber tool is very important and if you have a two-story house, consider one for upstairs and one for downstairs. I still use mine.

    Silk PJs are a must for getting out of bed when log-rolling. Silk sheets are nice, but we didn't have any and I don't particularly like then when things are normal, so I found the silk PJs worked great.

    I also found that I needed a snuggling feeling, so I have a very special, fuzzy blanket that I would always have over me when I was laying in the recliner. And pillows, pillows, pillows.

    Finally, don't forget to get things ready to keep your mind busy. Maybe computer games or a Nintendo DS, puzzle books, movies, etc. Those are good for when your body isn't working so well but your mind is. SH is also great.

  • I was going to suggest getting a grabber for upstairs and downstairs, but a previous post beat me to it. They're invaluable!

    As for putting on your socks, can your wife/family help with these?

    I've got a 'perching stool' downstairs for when I'm eating. It's brill. It allows me to sit/perch with my bottom higher than my knees.

    In the shower, I didn't get on with a stool 'cos sitting hurt - but my hubby did acquire a 'suction' grab handle. If you have a tiled surround, it's fits quite sturdy and, of course, when you don't need it anymore you can easily remove it.

    I also have a sturdy square cushion, which I always take out with me now (i.e. if going to a restaurant). It gives me extra height on a normal chair, which is OK for a short time (ha! I'm a quick eater!).

    Things to keep you occupied when you get home are also important - as is having a bedside table with enough room for all your stuff (books, magazines, phone, medication, pens/paper, I've even got a fruit bowl).

    Not long now! Hope it all goes well and, if you can, please let us all know how you get on (or get someone to post on your behalf).

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • I like to stock up on healthy foods as well as comfort foods. I also like to place the clothes hamper up on a chair so that I don't have to bend or lean forward in order to place anything in it or remove clothes to wash them. Oh and a case or two of small bottles of water. It's easier to keep a bottle of water nearly with a cap that can be screwed back down. Also, if you don't have a cordless phone, it certainly is easier to have one, so you can take it with you where ever you wind up in the house.

    Best wishes on your surgery.

  • Nearly your turn!

    I spotted an over bed/chair table on wheels in Asda the other day. It was about £30.00 I believe.
    I also had the suction handles for the bathroom, and the shower chair. I agree that a grabber upstairs and downstairs is very useful. Otherwise if will never be where you need it.
    I also had a swivel/turntable cushion, which helped me to sit up at the table without having to tuck my chair in. I used one of those cushion trays to make the table higher, as the cushion raised me. I would back onto it and then spin round to get my legs under the table.
    The cordless phone was great to keep in touch with people without having to get up to answer the phone.
    We raised the tv so I could watch it while lying down.

    Stock up on fruit juices and constipation meds!!

    Use these last days to have a favorite meal, have your hair cut (LOL! :))( just looked at your photo!) have a beer with some friends, and get everything set at home.

    We are here if you have any more questions. :-)
  • Oh, and I forgot a very important spiney rule: Every spiney MUST buy new underwear before surgery. It absolutely must be done. :D
  • Hi Scott,

    How great that you're getting your surgery over with soon!

    My list of essentials includes a couple of things you've already gotten, but I'm leaving them in anyway since this list is SO important and needs emphasizing:

    1) Raised toilet or seat. Believe me, you DO NOT want to try to stand up from a regular height toilet!

    2) Geared grabber--I got a Nifty Nabber by Unger for $18-- it can pick up lint off the floor! (if lint bothers you, lol)

    3) Satin sheets to make logrolling SO much easier

    4) A pillow to put under your knees when lying down flat. I put a satin pillowcase on mine to make it easier to move.

    5) At least two heating pads! one for your back and another for any other places that may hurt. With me, it was nerve pain in my leg

    6) A comfy throw blanket/afghan

    7) A shower stool and handheld shower head so you can shower sitting down. I used it sometimes 3 times a day just to get warmed up. For some reason, I was FREEZING for the first few weeks post-op.

    8) A cane (or maybe you would do better with a walker--it's an individual thing). I used my cane religiously for the first 3 weeks or so, to make absolutely sure I didn't lose my balance and fall down. Those first few weeks you're going to be a little unsteady and that's not just from the pain meds you'll be on, I think it's after effects of anesthesia and meds given in the hospital (just my opinion).

    9) Healthy and/or favorite foods which are easy to prepare if you're alone. I had frozen food I could just pop in the toaster oven and had precooked some of my favorite foods before the surgery so they would be handy to just rewarm when I wanted them.

    10) A covered cup or water bottle to have beside your bed or favorite resting place for those times when you wake up parched. I still keep water or juice by my resting place and it's been over 5 weeks for me.

    11) A little notebook and pen for logging your meds and the date and time you took them. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to forget what you took and when, especially if you're on meds that need to be taken every 12 hours, for instance. I STILL find myself forgetting to take my Lyrica on time. I depend on my notebook!

    12) A cell phone that you can carry in a pocket or clip to your belt. For the first three weeks or so I made sure to carry my cell with me every single time I got up to walk anywhere, even just to the bathroom in case I fell down. I'm alone during the day and I wanted to be sure to have a connection to help if something went wrong. I still make sure to have it on me when I go outside.

    I guess that's about it. If I've forgotten anything, will add it later. :)


    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I'd add a few more things to the list:
    "tongs" (I used stainless steel tongs with silicone ends) for in the bathroom that can be run through the dishwasher to sterilize. That extra 12 inches made wiping much, much easier with no twisting or bending.

    lots and lots of body wipes for washing until you can take a shower.

    a "spinner" or rotating seat cushion for use in the car coming home or for any chairs so you don't twist.
    good luck
  • just want to say good luck for tomorrow, hope all goes well.

    everyone has put a good amount of information and tips for the post op necessities, you should have a good set up at home. i'll be checking back on this post for tips on my op.

    best wishes

    L5/s1 discectomy & decompression 2009
    ALIF l5/s1 2011
    Awaiting X-ray & consultant to see if fused, but experiencing a lot of pain again :( 2013
  • good luck for your surgery tomorrow.
    Trussting that all will go to plan and that you will wake up with good pain control.

    Then it will be over to you for the healing.
    Be patient with yourself and make sure that you follow all the rules. Get lots of rest and take little walks when you can. Have you got treatment for constipation? :S

    I will look out for posts from you when you can, to hear how you are getting on. :-)
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