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PLIF post op questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a PLIF procedure on December 4th and I'm still trying to find the best way to sit and use the laptop. Propping myself up in bed becomes too uncomfortable after 15 minutes. I'm in my recliner right now, but it isn't really the best position. Any good ideas?

I also wonder if others have slept on their sides the first week post op. The nurses seemed to think it was okay in the hospital, but I hate to go by what they approve of. IMHO, the nurses and assistants were just plain terrible. But that's another topic.

All in all, I feel pretty good but starting to get bored with all the laying down. I'm walking around the house often but that's been about it. I was just hoping to be somewhat productive with the laptop.

Thanks for your feedback.



  • I slept on my sides as well. I was made to wear my back brace for the next two months. I had to go to a hair salon to get my hair washed. I guess you have help at home. About the laptop i have no ideas. I had a computer and i could only sit for about 15 minutes as well. I did so much walking because that's all i was able to do.

    I had some bad nurses and the good ones made up for it. I will keep you in my prayers and get well soon my dear.

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • O2b, I would alternate laying on my back and sides, always with a pillow between or under my knees. I used 2 pillows under my mattress at head to elevate a little, then one favorite pillow under my head. I placed my lap top on my abdomen, which was not the best idea, as it seems to have jacked up my neck from looking down.

    I would suggest purchasing a laptop cart that holds the computer and rolls under the edge of the bed, like the food tray at the hospital. It can be adjusted in height to make it at eye level and prevent neck strain. You could use it in your recliner as well. I am still planning on getting one for use in my recliner.

    Hang in there. It is a long boring recovery. Find easy things to do like watch movies, read, sort photos, etc. It seems so long, but now that my time off is over, it really did go fast. >:D< Cali-Sue
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  • I had my PLIF/laminectomy plus separate incision for bone graft on Nov 18th so I am just ahead of you by a couple of weeks.

    1) Regarding propping on back. I found that if I wedged 2 small bolster pillows on either side of my incisions, sorta like a bridge to support the back but take the pressure off the spine, it really helped. I also learned that for me the trick was to keep my lower back as straight as possible and let my upper back and neck be propped up.

    2) Luckily, re lap top, I had an old tray that has legs so it actually doesn't add any weight to my lap area. If you can find one of those, it really helps. I have to be on my laptop lots and lots because my husband and I own our business and I'm using "go to my computer" (see www.gotomycomputer.com) to access the office computer so I can do payroll, etc.

    3) Sleeping - my bone graft incision hurt lots more than the main incision. I had to sleep on my side for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Then all of a sudden, one night I could tolerate sleeping on my back (my usual habit) and I've been OK since. My doc gave me ambien to help sleep and it did help for those first couple of weeks.

    For the first 2 1/2 weeks at least after surgery all I did was alternate lying down on sofa to watch tv, the bed to work on the computer and sat up for 30 min stretches several times a day. I will tell you that at around 3 weeks my pain got much better and I am walking about 20 minutes now out in our neighborhood. Also doing light chores, some cooking and am trying to be as "normal" as possible.

    PS-I am a little older than you, I think. Am 56 and this back thing "felt like" it came upon me quickly over the past 5 months. Spondy level 2, extreme stenosis and rapidly advance neurological issues. Glad the surgery is behind me as I'm sure you are as well. PM me anytime. Otherwise, you'll get lots of wonderful support from this forum. Don't know what I'd do without it.

    Lots of good wishes coming your way!!
    Kathy in Atlanta :)
  • something called a laptop adjustable caddy. It is a rolling, adjustable desk that holds my laptop and I can use it from a fully reclined position in my recliner. (I have to stay reclined all day, and that might not be the best for you to recover, as you said.) I highly recommend this product if anyone thinks it would help. We paid $40 on sale but now they are $79 or so, it seems.

    Hope you find something that works!

  • Thanks to all of you who posted. It's nice to hear how others handled the sitting/laptop situation. I'm just 8 days post surgery and feel better every day. I would feel much better when I can actually have a real bowel movement:S

    This site has been great for answering questions and support. I really appreciate all the help. Good luck to all of you in your future surgeries or post rehab.

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  • i had my surgery Dec 11, posterior 2 level with discectomy and sacral biopsys. Surgery was almost 8 hours. Walgreens has wonderfull roll out trays for laptops, I am using mine right now. Was around 20 bucks. They also have bedtray, but unless you have help, might be to hard to lift.Good Luck :H
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