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After surgery, your chair?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,607
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:20 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I didn't know where to post this question but since my problem is a result of DDD, I figured that I would still post in this subject area.

If I end up having surgery when I come home what kind of chair would be best for me to sit in. Can I use a recliner? I have a upholstered swivel rocker that I normally sit in but it is quite old and the cushioning not too good anymore, seems a little low to the floor, so I'm thinking that this might not be good for me. I know the PA at the surgeon's office kept emphasizing that I needed to be in a chair that made sure my knees where not higher than my waist and I guess when I lean back a bit my knees are higher. So I may have to think about a different chair.

Along with that thought, any other things I should be prepared for if I have the surgery - preparations for my coming home.

Thanks - Pat


  • My post op instructions were not to sit up at all the first 48 hours. Only lay or recline. Tell us what type of surgery and we will better be able to help you prepare. Most likely you will not be able to bend, lift, twist. A grabber from the drug store will be very helpful for you to reach things with no BLT. Also, I had an extremely hard time using tissue after using the bathroom. They make disposable tongs for this. You will need someone with you for the first week or two. Let us know what surgery you are having and we will see what else we can come up with.
  • if you don't already have one, you may want to install a handheld shower massage and get a back scrubber. Very helpful washing and rinsing from waist down when you can not bend.
  • I have Spondylollisthesis - L5-S1 with a synovial cyst. Right now I'm hoping to get a neurosurgeon to remove just the synovial cyst. If that is not possible I will need to have spinal fusion and removal of the cyst.

    You are correct - if I end up with spinal fusion I will be in a back brace for 3 months and not able to bend from the waist or squat, along with many other restrictions. They have already told me that I need a shower chair that is high (I have that) and I have a grabber. They tell me that I will have one of those very high seats on the toilet to make that easier. But you know they don't tell you everything. So I want to be well prepared.

    The spine surgeon says I would be in the hospital only over night and they will get me up the day after the surgery and I will walk. But he also tells me that my knees can never be higher than my waist, so that is why I've been asking about the chair people sit on.

    I have decided on the second opinion since the spine surgeon will not just deal with the cyst... I will get that opinion on August 20th. If the neurosurgeon says I need to have both done then I will.
  • and please keep us posted. Yes, you will definitely need some of those disposable tongs for tissue paper(you will not be able to twist around with tissue when you have BM trust me) and a handheld shower massage will make things much easier. Please let us know how that second opinion goes.
  • Ok, I will look for those disposable tongs. I have a shower that has a hand held as well, so I'm good there. I'm still wondering if I can use a recliner to sit in... did anyone have to do something special regarding a chair to sit in.
  • But, I was told to lay flat or recline only. No sitting straight up. That is probably what they want you to do. You might want to verify this next time that you see the doc. The only reason that I keep emphasizing the tongs is that I did not have them until the end of recovery and it was a NIGHTMARE. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • When I asked about my chair, I mentioned it was a rocker.. but it is not a wood rocker... he said to sit up on the couch, but that is not where I would watch TV. So I think my chair will be ok because I certainly don't have to rock and it would make a slight angle back.

    I went looking for disposable tongs, but could not find them. I did find this item called bottom buddy http://www.caregiverproducts.com/site/270651/product/CKE92008

    Do you know where you got the tongs. Also, this is going to sound dumb... but if I have this surgery I really want to be prepared... how did you pull up your underwear?
  • My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow; here is what I have been told about chairs: You want a fairly straight chair, not too low or too soft, WITH arms to help you sit and rise without bending. You sit on the edge and use the arms to move yourself back. I was told NOT to use a recliner, because your spine will bend in the recliner.

    The physical therapist recommended getting a "spine kit" ahead of time, so my husband picked up this one for me: http://www.mvmsinc.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=750 The therapist said that this company is much cheaper than many others. The kit includes the tongs that painintheback recommended. The product you found looks easier to use, but is awfully expensive. As far as pulling up underwear, etc. the kit includes a long rod with different kinds of hooks at each end. I guess this is a tool to help with putting on one's clothes. Seems like it will be a steep learning curve to me; I have been noticing how much bending, lifting and twistin I currently do and trying to enjoy it for now.

    Good luck!
  • My best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Thank you for the link.
  • I actually tried to wear comfortable gowns with no underwear but the times that I did wear them I had to have my husband put them on me. The grabbers do work great for picking underwear up off floor but not much help putting them on. Did I mention a long handled back scrubber? That really helps to wash your lower body without bending. I found my tongs at a home health store but I know that they are available online just can't remember where. You may want to check into getting carrot tops kit. as carrot mentioned you really do not realize how much bending and twisting that you do until you can not do it anymore. It will also be hard to reach for things other than using the grabber so you may want to keep frequently used items on counters or at waist level. Good luck to both of you and please keep us posted on your progress.
  • I have several of the things already in the kit, so I just need to add a few.

    I tell you I have done so much reading and I'm really hoping and praying that I can just have the synovial cyst removed and wait on fusion. I've done some reading that they now can put artificial discs into people. It is being done in some hospitals in Florida and Texas. If I can make it ok with just cyst removal and avoid the fusion surgery, perhaps by the time I would need the fusion surgery more doctors will be using artificial discs which eliminates fusion. It is called disc replacement and I just learned of it.

    So August 20th will be my second opinion and I sure hope he goes in a direction that I want rather than fusion. Either way I plan to be ready.
  • My doc has actually told me that he would not even consider an artificial disc right now as they have not perfected them and they have a long way to go.
  • Hi everyone

    Maybe i was lucky but when i came home from the hospital i had my sister stay with me for two weeks but i only needed her to prepare my meals and make sure i did not take the same meds more times then was allowed!!

    I was able to shower sitting on a shower chair but i made sure to not get my back wet, "man was it great to take a bath"!! I was able to dress and brush my teeth but i had to wait a month to go to the beauty shop to get my hair washed and no BM for a month as well!!

    I was lucky enough to have great surgeons and i had to wear my back brace for three months!! The doctors put 30 staples in my back. I'm one year post op and i'm feeling better unless i do something i'm not supposed to!! PT told me i can never jog or rum again!

    I had a very large Tumor at the same time so my pain, etc was doubled! I wish everyone good luck and no more pain, bless you all!!

    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
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