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Feb. 9th surgery - some questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All

My surgery is coming up and I have some questions. I am having a 2 level fusion (i'm not sure of all the technical terms) L4/5 and L5/S1. With hardware.

I will have to wear the big plastic brace for 2 months or until I fuse - question : what is the most comfortable to wear while wearing this brace. I assume the brace is worn over your shirt? So is a loose shirt easier or a tight shirt?
What about pants? Do they matter - are you mostly wearing light sweat type pants?

Also for the hospital what kind of clothing did you have there? I was going to bring a lightweight longer length robe, but how about pj's - I assume that after the catheter is removed I can wear my pj bottoms?

Thanks for any advice.... countdown is on and I am starting to freak out!



  • Su,
    After wearing this large, plastic brace after both my surgeries totalling about a year's wearing time, I feel I am qualified to help you. What you should wear under the brace- something made of cotton to absorb your sweat, and you will sweat. I wore a tee shirt. When I was dressed casually, I wore something loose over the brace to hide it. If I had to dress up, I put the brace on over my dress shirt and then a thin sweater over the brace. Again, you are going to sweat.
    As for the hospital, bring PJ's and good slippers. You will probably be given a Johnny top, whichever is most comfortable. Good luck.

    Dick the Braceman
    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Welcome to Spine health Su!

    I did not have to wear a brace after my fusion, but as far as the clothing in the hospital, I tell you that I only wore the hospital gown, as I had various tubes coming out of me, so that was the most convenient. The funny thing is that the hospital where I was used designer gowns by Karen Neuburger, lovely soft, flowered material, but opened on the back exposing the behinds just the same as the cheap ones.


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  • I am three weeks out from my surgery. After the cath. was removed I wore lounge pants and shirts. You will be up walking the day of to the day after your surgery. Wear something that you are comfortable roaming the halls in.
    I like something close fitting and soft under the brace. I think the brace is such a fashion statement that I never cover it up! (ha, ha,)
    I had L-4,L-5,L-5,S-1 anterior fusion.
  • I got a bunch of white cotton tshirts to wear under my brace to keep from getting too sweaty or a tank top. I had my surgery in July. In the hospital, I wore button up nightgowns. It was easier with button up w/ IV and I also brought my own fluffy comfy robe and slippers. I never missed my underwear so much in my life =)) as I did while waiting for catheter to come out. I think, to me, that was the worst part because I've never had a catheter and I hated it. I drank so much juice and water that I kept filling the bag and the way to hose was positioned it wasn't empting correctly so it was very uncomfortable. I know TMI :))(

    I wish you the best of luck.

    Oh for pants, I wore elastic waist and still do because mine was through my belly so my stomach is still some what sensative.
  • Hi Su, I wore the hospital gown the first few days until I was rid of the cath, drain, and IV. Then I wore my own gown, cotton long, and I went commando cause it was just too hard to get the undies up and down. I continued this at home for a while cause when you loose your undies around your ankles, it is a pain to have to find the grabber to get them back up. Once I was moving a little better I wore cool PJ's around the house and yoga/exercise clothes to go out. I often wore a tank top under my brace. My surgery was in August, in California, and yes, that brace was very hot. I discovered my sweat glands actually do work, LOL. I am not typically a sweater :))( I had the brace for 10 weeks including weaning out of it. Good-luck and make sure to look at the post-op must-haves list at the top of the surgery topic. >:D< Cali-Sue

    P.S. I think urinary catheters are an awesome medical invention. I did not want to give mine up. They stole it from me at 22 hours post-op to my regret. I couldn't even feel it at all, and it kept me from having to get up to the bathroom every couple hours. Oh well, gotta progress so you can get out of that place. Good-luck.
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  • Hi,
    I just wanted to add my two cents worth. ;) I took pj's to the hospital with me, but ended up only wearing the bottoms, that is after my cath was removed. Due to the iv, and pain pump in back it just was not feasible to wear anything else but the hospital gown on top. I also took slippers for those walks that they will make you get up and do before you think you are even ready for them. @) My hospital stay wasn't but just a couple days, but I know all doctors are different as to what they feel is necessary for their patients. I wish you luck with your surgery.
  • I am having my surgery on the 9th, I am having a 3 level, from bottom up. I have been doing alot of reading for a couple of months now on here, I was originally suppose to have my surgery on the 10th of DEC. But that kinda messed up. So now I am going in with two surgeons.
    I have packed a large robe to cover my Hiney when I have to walk, I got some slippers (slip on) at a local dept store for 5 bucks! So those are packed, I have gone out to Goodwill and picked up several big button up shirts, and sweats, because the last thing I am worried about is "looking good", I want to be comfortable. I have other things packed like lotion, chapstick, and stuff like that to help me feel a tiny bit better where ever I can. I went and got a book from the store and a friend of mine sent me a bunch of books from California to give me something to do, and I got a puzzle book too. My oldest daughter got me a hookrug to do when I can use my arms a little more.
    As for the hospital attire, I am just going to be using the gowns with my robe, and I plan on wearing the brace over my clothes when I get home, I am a one shirt person so no undershirts for me.
    I think it is absolutely cool that we are having surgery the same day. Email me if you want, message me if you would like my email!!
    *HUGS* CindySue
  • Hi I am in the East Bay - which Hospital is using my favorite pj maker?
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