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Practical advice please - 2 weeks post op :)

Jodenice1JJodenice1 Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Lower Back Pain

Had my dressing off yesterday and wound is healing nicely :)

I asked the nurse a couple of things but she couldn't really help so I'm back here to ask all you knowledgeable people!

1.) I have a shower but it's in my bath. Its on the wall but still have to somehow get in and out of bath without bending, lifting or twisting or slipping! Bath is plastic, quite high, not particularly sturdy sides (I know, ideal right? Ha ha!) I live on my own. Any suggestions as to how I can do it?

2.) getting in and out of a car on the passenger side. I haven't got a clue! Do I kind of lower myself in sideways clinging for dear life onto the frame ? Or do you sit down backwards and try and turn round all at once?

3.) sitting down. Do I go for a high backed dining chair that my feet barely touch the floor from? Or a lower sofa?

4,) log rolling. Does the item you're laying on have to be a certain height? (I know you can't log roll from the floor but does it have to be knee height for instance?!)

I know these sound a bit silly but I can't seem to find the answers anywhere. I'm mastering getting dressed laying down, walking daily, bending down rather than over and doing daily physio but these are obstacles I'm coming across daily :)


  • One thing you can use is a walker to help you get in and out of the shower. Hopefully you have the things on the bottom of your tub that will keep your footing from slipping. If you have a container of bleach, throw some in it every now and then so it doesn't get soap built up and you slip.

    Log rolling, is a part of my daily way to get up. Which means that when you get up you roll to the side, and sit up, so you don't sit straight up in bed and all the force is against you and using your back muscle/stomach muscles to do it. You will eventually just master the skill and probably never get up out of bed the same way.

    Getting in and out of the car do it the same way you would bend down, with your legs. Then sit in the car and turn in the sit. You will eventually work on balance in physio so you will be able to adjust that using one leg, and bending it to sit down.

    Personally I prefer Hi-back chairs, but if your shorter you might prefer the sofa, as you won't have as far to go to sit down.
  • Thanks! I now know I've been attempting to get in and out of the car wrong :)

    My problem is that I am tall. 5ft9. All my furniture was perfect height before I hurt myself but is now too low! I can log roll out of bed fine but I'm finding it difficult on my ( and my friends/families) furniture. I can push myself to sitting sideways but then I'm kind of stuck with my knees to my chest and I need someone to pull me up, I imagine it will get easier as I get stronger.

    What's a walker? Like a cane?
  • Try putting a large garbage bag on the seats of the car. You can slide in and out much easier.

    You will start getting less stiff as you heal. I used a cane to get off the toilet and help getting off my furniture but I was mostly still in bed a lot at 2 weeks out (PLIF).

    What surgery did you have?

  • A discectomy and decompression. It's the shower thing that's bothering me most. I want to feel clean! I bought these suction rails that you stick on the tiles but in all honesty they don't seem that safe.

    A friend is coming to take me out later and I'm going to practise the right way of getting in the car! :)
  • Hi,

    Like you I have a high tub/shower (its a jacuzzi tub actually) and I am very short. I had a safety bar put in to hold onto as I get in and out. Very helpful. And a plastic stool to sit on. Doesn't have to be anything fancy. I used a footstool of some old garden furniture.

    I have had 3 fusions. I also had a laminectomy before the fusions and found that kneeling on a chair was the easiest way to sit at the table.

    I sleep with a wedge under my knees which takes the stress off of my back.

    I have a long handled shoe horn altho I mostly wear clogs. It was very helpful putting on my (former) running shoes to go for walks.

    I also live by myself and it can be hard to do things. The most important thing is to not overdo. Good luck with your recovery.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • 1) I also have a shower over the bath. The hospital showed me how to use a bath board across the bath. I would sit on it with my legs outside the bath, and then with help (independently after a few weeks) I would put my legs into the bath and turn myself round. I also had a shower chair in the bath which made things easier.
    I also had suction handles on the wall, which really helped, and a low stool to step onto when getting out of the bath, because the floor level was lower than the base of the bath and that movement was very difficult. I could step up much easier than stepping down. Stepping onto a stool and then down onto the floor was very manageable.

    2) I personally managed to get into the car one leg at a time from my first car jounrey home from hospital. I have read that you should not go in a car with bucket type seats, because you shouldn't have your knees higher than your hips. We checked that out before I went in for my surgery and decided which car would be best. Otherwise, you can sit down on the seat with a plastic bag, so you can easily turn yourself around.

    3) I found that an upright, dining type chair was the only thing I could stand to sit on for a long time. If your legs barely touch the floor, how about having a book or something to put them on.

    4) Log rolling is easier if the bed is higher, but you can do it, just not on anything very low. Some people here have bought bed raisers to put under the legs of their bed.

    Hope that your recovery goes well, but keep asking any questions you may have. Remember and keep the no bending, lifting and twisting rule. Also no stretching!

    Take care :-)

    PS A walker is a frame on wheels to steady you as you walk.

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