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Post surgical "at home" nursing care??? Posterior fusion...

Aviatrix36440Aviatrix36440 Posts: 5,904
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Howdy all!!!

Okay, as you can see by my signature, have a bit of a large surgery coming up in 7 days plus a wake up (sorry, ex military humor there....). Okay, how many of you had 4+ levels done from the back had a nurse or other medical professional come to their house to change dressings and such? My hubby is "not" comfortable with changing dressings, and thinks a professional should come to take care of that, and showers or food or what have you for the first week or two??

I've had two fusions (ACDF), and didn't really need help. Is posterior that different? I mean, from what I've gotten in posts, and too in chat, it is more painful to recover from, but do I really (short of wound issues) need someone to come here and help me? My incision will be between 12 and 15 inches.... Thanks in advance for your thoughts or experience. :)

PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.


  • Posterior cervical surgery is significantly more difficult to recover from than posterior lumbar surgery. I haven't had any anterior cervical surgery to compare it to. Suffice to say the need for assistance is a must.

  • My hubby is funny in that when he has had wound issues, I took care of them without a problem, but he is squeamish! (G)

    Worse than posterior lumbar? That's a scary thought - would have 'neva-thunk' it! I'm hoping in the next day or two to know what time I am having surgery - that's the only question not answered yet.

    As for home health care, what level are we talking about then? Wound care only or....? This is a new area to me. I am also very private, and picky who all comes into my house. Thanks C.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Your day is almost here! I am so proud of you for "takiing the bull by the horns" and doing everything you needed to do to get to this point! You Rock!!

    As you may know, I am a rehab therapist. For many years, I was a memeber of the wound care team. No problem......until I saw blood coming from my daughter's chin....the love that I have for her and the vunerablility of that love, made it a whole different story.....so I get your hubby.

    Most likely, it will be simple wound care. Taking the dressing off, maybe cleaning in it with some peroxide or something and recovering it.

    Do you have a girlfriend? Or a neighbor? that you would be comfortable with coming over?

    The flip side, is that if not, you will most likely be quite nicely medicated, between pain meds, nerve pain meds, meds for spasms, etc. So.....you might not care so much who is there! :)

    Is it possible for hubby to get you all set up in the mornings with food, drinks , snacks, etc?

    Another thought is being able to get out of bed, to the potty and back, safely. If you do need/want to hire someone to help you, a nursing assistant would probably be sufficiant. If it is for wound care, insurance should pay for it.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Hoping the next few days fly by and before you know it you will be on the other side of this! Shari
  • Wow, you are having a lot of work done! I hope you have lots of help!!!! >:D<
  • *HUGZ* Thanks so much for your post. :)

    My hubby is so squeamish it is almost laughable! When his stitches came due to take out, he didn't want to go in, so yep, I got to remove them. What a baby! (Loving Grin)

    "I rock" huh? Rofla! Dunno about that, but appreciate. I've put together a list of things I need my hubby to pick up, and or go "with" (to carry) so I can buy the stuff.

    I have a fully adjustable TempurPedic bed, so log rolls should be fairly easy. I have to see how things feel I guess when I wake up. I say that because I was amazed at the comfy "differences" I found with an ACDF for the C5/6 and then just over a year later of the C6/7 - one I could sleep in my bed, the other I lived in my recliner!! So if just level can be that different, most of the cervical and 2T's of the thoracic might be an adventure in itself?!?! Trying to stay upbeat and positive.

    I love soups and such, so for the most part I can; should be able to do I guess I should say, heat up soups and such. I make a pretty cool macaroni casserole, so hubby can help me strain and stir... Then there are some lunches or light dinners there. I figure we can go "Brenda able to prepare type meal" shopping towards the end of the week to get all that on track.

    I will be "locked" in my extended hard collar for a minimum of 3 months, and starting right out of the box with a bone growth stimulator (contrary to my last fusion...4 months later!!). With that, I have 90% of the things I need daily at waist to shoulder level - so that should work. I'm bumping things a bit tighter for ease than I did with my last 2 fusions.

    I think I call my surgeon's surgery prep nurse to see how they handle after care. This doctor pretty much only works the complex spine issues (3 levels and more), revisions etc. So I am sure my question to her will be routine on her answer? I figure I will give her a call mid week. I know some call the insurance company to set it up, but BCBS federal isn't that tight about such things, and leave much to the patient to decide. Whew!! That's where I am so far. (G) Deep breath...schedule settling down now - gonna hit the pool shortly. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • HeidiLynnM said:
    Wow, you are having a lot of work done! I hope you have lots of help!!!! >:D<
    Thanks Heidi!!

    Still putting my final list of activities together (lists, food, still positioning some things etc.). Getting there, step by step. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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