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Post-Op Must Haves



  • I had ACDF c3-c6 in February, 2018 and now I am facing lumbar 360 fusion 1 to 2 levels in June 2018. This list is really great and I used/needed many if not most of these items on my first surgery. I know all the things for easy sliding on beds etc. are going to help tremendously. Team Work is the best thing ever and I am thankful so many people have shared and added to this list.

    Best of luck for any of you facing surgery in the near future

    God Bless all of you who are reading this,

  • As for the time in the hospital... I overpacked!  All I wore during my 4 day stay was the hospital gown. You wont need clothes or your own food/snacks especially if you are having lower lumbar anterior.. they have to move your bowels around and unless you pass gas, you wont be allowed ANYTHING to eat. And most likely you wont pass any gas for at least a few days!!  The day I went home, I put on the same baggy sweats & shirt I came in with since I had showered and only had them on for an hour.    My MUST HAVES for the hospital stay would be * a reacher/grabber, *extension cord, Cell phone & charger, I brought my laptop also but didnt really use it.  Your own pillow (not a necessity lol). I never got to use my toothbrush, just the minty mouth swabs, because I didnt even eat until the last day..and that was soup & Jello. I couldnt shower... didnt want to breath, much less move lol       When you go home it will depend on what you are allowed to eat. The surgery site makes all the difference in the world. Mine was anterior & posterior but I only needed the walker for 1 day at home... never needed the bedside comode OR the but wiper stick.  Most IMPORTANT thing you will need is someone to help you into and out of bed, because that "log rolling"  business is not easily done alone.. almost 2 weeks out & it still hurts like heck getting into & out of bed!! But I only needed actual help for the first 3 days home. 

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  • I find that is one of the worst things about hospital beds if you have spinal pain is the fact that their sheets don't allow a patient to slide and to just try and change positions is extremely painful.  I am talking before having any spinal surgery.  Just being a patient with spinal stenosis and being admitted for other conditions can make it a horrible experience.

  • Thank you for the great list!  I had T-12 to L-5 laminectomy and fusion on 6/25/18.  Doctor also found an unexpected dural tear, which set my recovery back two days.  I spent 7 1/2 days in the hospital.  Then I moved to a rehab facility.  I have been here since 7/2/18.  Estimated time to go home is 7/15/18.  I live alone and have two flights of stairs to navigate.  I have a lot of things in place, but the list really helps fill in the gaps.  I need to get one more walker (one for each floor).  I have grabbers on each floor, and a couple extras on the main floor and second floor bedrooms (in case I drop a grabber).  My insurance provides for PT, OT and some home care (35 hours per week) and I think I'll take advantage of that.  It's scary, but it could be a lot worse!!!

  • This list was very helpful. Thank you to everyone who helped make it so comprehensive.

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  • Hi! Lam/Disc of L5-S1 on 8/22/18

    This list was a life saver. 

    The best things that I found for my recovery time was a wheeling "hospital" type bed table. I got it off amazon for like $40. It made being in bed all day so much easier because everything I could want was there all the time. We used some command strip hooks to keep all my cords elevated and reachable. I could have it at my lap to eat or craft or push it next to me for easy access. 

    I also bought two pillow wedges that have been life saving. I just searched bed pillow wedge on amazon. One for behind my back that keeps me in a lounge position and one that has a flat top before angling down for my feet. This keeps all the pressure off my incision area and I'm able to sleep or be awake and be comfy 24 hours. It also helped my bf feel better about me not bending/twisting/sleeping on my side. 

  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 324
    edited 10/07/2018 - 11:42 PM

    The one thing I’d add to the post op must haves is to clearly have a pain management plan for leaving the hospital and going home those first few weeks before your first surgeon follow up.  Having an idea where you might be on the opiate mme scale pre and post op, plans for after -just filling Rxs and dealing with the 7 day or pre approval nonsense alone was horrible, but have contingency plans for higher than expected pain and know which docs to call (my surgeon stopped responding to my calls for higher pain meds immediately post op, wel he wasn’t allowed to provide higher meds, PM had to...we had no idea what pain management really was opiates wise, I wa s on PT mostly -it drove my wife and I bonkers...just do your pain management homework). If you need a lot of oral help ahem- pain help- pill organizers, even a smart phone app to help stay on time with dosage all helped me.

    If you’re new to spinal surgery being prepared mentally for the pain would be key if I had to do it all over.  I never expected the level of NERVE pain, and it was never explained to me how there would be so intense nerve pain you can’t believe...I had but I now know it’s worth it as there is the light at the end of the tunnel-hopefully will get an all clear sometime in the next 18 months. Oh yeah, heaps of Patience not only helps, it’s required!! 

     Good luck

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

  • MizTexasMMizTexas Posts: 32
    edited 10/09/2018 - 10:09 AM

    I have questions about sheets. After reading this excellent list - I looked at sheets until my little head was spinning. Silk is out of my price range. Satin seems to be a good alternative but it doesn't breathe and people complain about their pillow sliding around. If mine falls off the bed, I won't be able to get it back!  :o

    Does anyone have Bamboo? I'm looking for slippery and something that I won't get sweaty in. I sleep nekkid but I might be convinced to put on a slippery shirt if it makes it easier for me to turn from side to side. 

    I'm prepping for an L3/L4 ALIF, btw. 


  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 356

    Those of you that had or have someone to help you so much are very fortunate. I, on the other hand, am married to a woman who should have been a Sergeants Major in the British Royal Marines or the US Marine Corps! She is a Brit BTW and I'm a retired US Marine Corps CWO so I'm used to tough love (love?) LOL I frequently call her or refer to her as sergeants major!! Yes, if you can have the help by all means please take advantage of it and make sure you say thank you and please often!

  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 324
    edited 10/09/2018 - 11:13 PM

    Excellent point Jerome- number 1 is help and family support infrastructure.  Positive attitude and All else is gravy.  

    Good luck Texas, I do not recommend satin sheets and pajamas 

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

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