Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

all who have had a double fusion...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am almost 8 weeks post of and have been using slip on shoes and/or getting my tennis shoes on with the shoe horn. I would love to put my tennis shoes on and tie them correctly now. I have been doing the pretzel piriformis stretch for weeks while lying down. The last couple days, I sat in a chair with my brace on, crossed my left leg over the right, pulled the laces a bit and tied. I have been feeling it in my butt and a bit in my back. Is this how you all tie your shoes and is this just a little discomfort that my body will get use to or am I doing this too soon or wrong?

Secondly, I want to start shaving my own legs. Doc said o.k. but no advice on how (disadvantage of a male dac lol). I do not do the shower chair because sitting and leaning forward have never worked well for me. To bend my knee, lean forward to trim my toe nails never worked without discomfort either. Any of you have any other innovative ways. I did duct tape a wooden dowel to my razor to make it longer.


  • Hi Carol,

    I had a three-level fusion on 5/1/08, and have been facing the same challlanges that you do.

    For cutting my toe nails, I am sitting on my commode with the lid down, rest my straight back against the back rest, bend my knee and pull my foot close enough so I can cut the nails.

    When shaving, I am sitting on my shower chairs, and use essentially the same technique as for toe nail cutting (bending the knee and pulling the foot close to me). But your home-made implement with the duck tape seems to work fine too.

    Since you don't use a shower chair, I wonder, how can you wash your feet?

    I mostly use slip-on shoes, but if I put my tennis shoes on I sit down with straight back, pick up the shoes one-by-one, bend my knees and pull my foot close enough to slip on the shoe than I can also tie it.

    If these descriptions sound too weird, just experiment and see what works for you.

    Good luck,

    Kin ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
  • Yep I had L3-S1 on 7th May this year so am at roughly the same stage as you.
    As far as cutting toenails i ask my MUM! Definitely not something I can do.
    I haven't tried shaving my legs as it is winter here but I stopped using a razor years ago after using one then realised I had sliced 4" up my leg and hadn't felt it :jawdrop: YIKES!
    I now use the cream stuff and like you I tape a long handle together to get the cream off. Much safer.

    For shoes I use elastic laces and a shoe horn. For sox I have made a silk bag which I put inside my sock then slip my foot into the bad. Then I pull off the bag and my sock in on perfectly. Only takes a few seconds and is soo easy. I can use this also to put on more difficult shoes.

    I was trying to crosss my legs to get shoes and socks on but like you I was getting a lot of pain in the butt and I think I have pulled something as I can feel big knots there now.

    So dont push it. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we can over-do it.

    Blessings Sara
  • Hi Carol,

    Ummm....I guess I'm advanced or a dummy because I've been shaving my legs myself in the shower since about week 3. My husband did it for me before that using a wet/dry electric razor he bought me. He did it the first couple of weeks and then I started doing it after my shower..I'd sit in a chair and buzz away...just put my foot on my knee and went at it..but at around 4 weeks I just started using the regular razor in the shower....

    Same thing with my lace up shoes, just put my foot on my knee and pull it forward a little bit to get them on..I have never felt like it hurt. When it does pull a little I get the hubby to assist or I hit the road in flip flops.

    Washing my feet? That one was easy..I have a loofah on a stick and I do the same foot on knee trick and scrub away in the shower..I love my shower chair! May never give that puppy up!

  • I only had one level fusion. Never used a shower chair. I did practice martial arts for years...so this is what I do. I put my foot up at hip level into the corner of the shower, the foot on the ground is at a 45 degree angle with my knee slightly bent for support. I bend at the hip, keeping my back straight, and shave away. Then do the other side. I started about 3 weeks after surgery. It works for me.... ;)

    Oh...to tie my shoes, I put my foot up on the edge of a chair. I have a hard time doing it from a sitting position.
  • Carol,

    There is life after fusion. It may take a little more time before you acquire the flexibility you desire. I play golf, work in the yard, tie my own shoes (although I rarely do this cause I'm lazy). The key is working on stretching the muscles in your legs.

  • I wear flip-flops (EVERYWHERE) I have casual ones, cute ones to wear with a dress, i must have 10-12 pairs now, when falls come and it gets cool I have hubby help me tie my shoes, and also my hubby shaves my legs lotions them and paintsmy toes and massages my feet!!!! HE ROCKS image But I guess if I had to do it all myself I would use my shower chair plus my shower has 2 small seats built into the shower wall so I can use that as a prop.
  • Thanks everybody and dave, your wonderful for reassuring me of all I WILL be able to do. Right now I'm at the frustrating point where I'm trying to be patient and independent at the same time. Your reassurance helps.
    Sounds like I'm tying me shoes just fine; I'll just give it a little time for my butt to realize we are doing this and get use to it.
    I'll save the leg shaving til next week and try the different versions suggested....I'll let y'all know which one wins :0)
    Yep, the loofa on a stick is a great tool to reach the feet but I have also just pored shower gel on my feet and used the outside hose on a high pressure lol!!
  • Please excuse me all for my PMS (otherwise I mean I had a hysterectomy long ago, but I act like I'm on it)
    I was told not to shower for a while after my TLIF and I was so miserable. If you suffer from hot flashes with itching and burning, you know what I mean. Finally I said screw it and decided to hold on to the towel bar. If something were to have happened to me, I would have gone to the doc smelling sweet. (Don't ama, please; you've noticed every commericial has a disclaimer on it :)
    I'm onry today because I miss you all, and it hurts to type with a broken wrist ( post op ater TLIF/laminectomy) I still have hellified pain but I cope the best I can. My sciatica is pissed like a scorned ex lover, and my valium had to be increased. The doc said it's from prior damage since I herniated L4-5 1.5 years ago and then it took months to have surgery after it had been compressed so long. And I was told I have a bit of foot drop.
    Thank you all again for letting me post; I'm not so pissed anymore; I have mastered this new system and I feel I have all my family back.
  • meydey, good to hear from you. I'm with you, personal hygeine defines our day. I can't function without a shower and I'm at the point where hairy legs just make me feel dumpy. God Bless my daughter for pitching in and helping shave them but I'm ready to be on my own.
    You can have PMS here, and we'll be right behind ya telling you that you have every right to be steamed. Just make sure you limit the steamed time and then put on some loud happy jamin music, sing along at the top of your lungs, put on a great movie, make yourself drink a cup of tea and then realize this is short term and we can do this. Grab onto your sense of humor and a good Bible verse....they save me in my melting moments :0)
  • Is there pain free life after fusion? I am looking at having my second one- I have been on pain pillls ever since the 1st one.
Sign In or Register to comment.