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is a hospital bed necessary

jayhawkjjayhawk Posts: 1,032
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have noticed that there have been several recommendations for renting a hospital bed to use after a Lumbar fusion. I'll be having a L4-5 ant/post fusion 2/26. I hadn't planned on renting one, actually thought I might sleep on the sofa for while as I thought it would be easier to be positioned and change sides than trying to log roll side to side.


  • The sofa may be too low for you to get in and out of. I had a mattress made for my fusion. We measured the bed height, and guessed what would be the best height for me. My inseam is 30', and the bed with mattress can up to 27'. I also bought a 2' memory foam that was recommended. I used the headboard to hold onto while getting out of bed. This worked great for me, and I have it for a lifetime.

    The hospital bed is probably optimal, but with a little planning, this was fine for me.

  • Hi Jay! you are having exactly what I had 6 weeks ago-when it comes to renting a bed,I think mainly you need to think about the setup of your house.Do you have a 2-story? Bathroom downstairs or easily accessible for you?Some people rent them because you can adjust the head and foot-right after surgery it will be hard to get comfortable.Also the bed may make it easier to get up.(handrails)Also some people rent them in order to be close to family,the t.v.,computer,pets,etc-so think about your situation-and lets talk about it!!!!
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  • Hey Jay I agree with Jeanie on this.6 weeks ago Her and I both had the same surgery. 6 months ago I bought a new bedroom set. A little high. I did not have the bed prior to my surgery and when I got home I knew right away after laying down in my new bed that I would need one. So I was stuck trying buy a bed off craigslist after I got home. Luckly I found 1 and a buddy went and picked it up and set it up for me. In my opinion I think that they are necessary. I am still using it in my living room because I keeep my girl up all night with my crazy sleep pattern lately. I think for all practicle purposes it was a definate need along with this auto recliner i got also. Just made everything easier on me. I also would say try to get one off craigslist and then resell it after to recoupe some $. Anywho whatever u do make sure u nice and cozy where u plan on staying. If You are local I have an extra in my basement. needs a mattress and control. Take care and like Jeanie said Lets talk and try to help you figure it out.

  • oh no! Money is tight, we have to pay the surgeon and the hospital cash for our 20%, I feel so guilty, I would love to not have an additional cost of a bed. Rick, based on you referrence to having a basement, I know we don't live close, we can't have basements here. I am not very tall~ 5'2", my bed is tall, it has a pillow top on it.I'm just afraid once in, I won't be able to change my position. Our pets are the other issue~we have a younger dog that is part dingo and part Rodesian Ridgeback. She was a puppy during my last surgery, so we are well bonded as we spent a lot of time together. Her favorite thing in life is to wake you up with puppy kisses, especially if she can get your ear :) not sure how we will manage, it will break both of our hearts if she can't be near me. I also have a cat who likes to sleep on you and is relentless if you don't open the door. Last surgery the nurses flipped out that we had a new puppy, I can't imagine how they will react this time. LOL I am worried about positioning. During your hospitalization, do the therapist work with you on this? getting into & out of bed, rolling, it just sounds next to impossible. how long before you are independent with that aspect?
  • I was given the option of ordering a hospital bed by my patient coordinator at the hospital and it was done by prescription. She made all the calls, found one, gave me a prescription for it, and made the arrangements to have it delivered to my house. Apparently, my hospital has a patient coordinator for every patient, at least on the spine floor, so you might want to check out with your doctor if you can get one via prescription, i.e. free.

    With that being said, I declined. I found a way to be very comfortable in my recliner for sitting (it's a matter of pillows) and I slept in my regular bed upstairs. I never layed down while I was downstairs. In my personal opinion, you'd be using the hospital bed for such a short time, you might want to make alternate arrangements, like getting a wedge pillow for your couch, or doing what I did.

    Then nurses will work with you on log rolling. Also, a very helpful couple of things is to have satin sheets and/or satin sleepwear to help rolling over in bed. Also, you can place a towel underneath you and for instance if you need to roll onto your left side, have you wife grab the towel on your right side and pull it as you roll onto your left side.

    I really didn't find the sleeping/sitting arrangements very difficult and I hope you can work things out so it comes out well for you.

    I didn't find it was too long before I was able to do these things on my own. The first couple of weeks are the hardest, so just concentrate on getting through them then things will be a bit easier.

    Feel free to ask any questions you have. Rick, Jeanie and I had the same surgeries within days of each other and we're healing about the same, with a few differences, of course.

    Three things that you MUST make sure you have when you get home is a rolling table to keep next to wherever you spend most of your time (bed or chair), a grabber tool (cheap at Walgreens) and a toilet riser (also cheap at Walgreens). You'll find how low the toilet seems when you try to get up after your TLIF. Those three things were invaluable to me.

    Take care Jayhawk and feel free to PM me any time or of course, to ask any more questions publicly. Many of us have walked in your shoes and understand what you're going through.

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  • Hi Jayhawk,

    I just want to wish you good luck with your up coming surgery. I know its so nerve wracking right now.

    I was taught how to log roll out of bed by the nurses after my surgery, and you'll probably be up walking the same day with PT, they stay on top of you several times a day to take small walks.

    I have a remote control on my bed, so I was able to elevate myself and I had my walker right next to the bed, its best to prepare everything now for yourself.

    As for the animals I can relate, my little puggle Sassy sleeps right beside me!!! LOL I don't know what to tell you about that one, but my husband did keep the animals away from me for a bit so I wouldn't get hurt, we have 2 dogs and 3 cats!!

    We'll be chatting, so take care and good luck, you'll do great!!

  • A hospital bed is absolutely not necessary and I didn't have the money to waste on it. If you are sleeping in your bed, you might consider buying bed risers(I found a set of 4 for $20 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond) or having a handy family member build wood platforms under each leg. Also, many people recommend sating sheets to slide around on easier. I liked putting a beach towel under my waist/butt/back area to catch extra drainage as well as let my husband easily turn me in those first few days. You can put a high backed kitchen table chair against your bed with the back to the bed so you can grab hold of it to sit up.

    I slept a lot on the couch after all of my lumbar surgeries. Important is to have many pillows for positioning. I also kept my walker next to the couch to lower and raise myself easier. I did NOT buy a toilet riser. Gross. I am the only one who cleans the toilet and I wasn't going to clean a riser used by me and 4 other people. I just took my walker in there with me and used it to raise and lower myself. Remember to take your brace off before you sit down otherwise it's harder to wipe.

    Essentials for me were: Pillows and lots of them. Walker with a bicycle basket on it to carry cell phone, meds, bottle of water, pad of paper and ped to keep track of when I took meds cuz I couldn't remember at first. Reusable ice packs for immediate needs then heating pad after healing. Reacher/grabber tool. Shower chair but you can use a plastic lawn chair, too. Before you leave the hospital, you can request to talk to the discharge planner and ask for walker, grabber tool, and shower chair(if you like) and she will get it for you and bill it to your insurance.

    If you couch is sagging a bit in the cushion area or your bed is sagging a bit, you can get a piece of plywood in the size and put it under the couch cushions or under the mattress to make it a little more firm.

    Keep plenty of light snacks on an easy counter or shelf in fridge to reach. You will be constipated from the meds. Bananas, cheese, and yogurt constipate your further. It's nice to have those little lunchables with meat and crackers, applesauce cups, jello cups, etc.

    Good luck, remember that these things are really personal decisions, it may take you a day or so to figure out what works in your house. Oh, did I mention lots of different pillows? :)
  • You're going to need to be careful with the pets. All it would take is one pet jumping up onto the bed when you weren't expecting it, and landing on you "wrong" to cause a bunch of problems.

    Also I would not count on the couch being comfortable for you right after surgery. Perhaps because you are shorter it will be less of a problem getting down and back up from it...but most couches do not provide the kind of support you should have for support when sleeping.
  • I am very worried about our pets, a baby gate would come in handy. But wouldn't keep the cats out. I hate to barricaid myself away, this is the only socialization I have left, but I may have to! Boo! I get such love and happiness from my pets, but I know. Don't they say, therapist make the worst patients! Ha! 'wanna sleep on the safa, have a bunch of pets, have throw rugs, etc. Sure am glad I found ya'll. Will I be ready in time?
  • I bought an Ergomotion bed before my fusion, which is essentially a hospital bed. For the first 2 weeks, I couldn't even bear the thought of raising my head or feet. There is absolutely NO comfortable position to lay in for the first couple of weeks. I am 3 weeks out, and still unable to sit comfortably.

    The most important thing, as stated above, is the height of the bed. It will be a struggle to get in and out regardless, but any assistance you can give yourself is a bonus.

    Hope all goes well for you. If it helps, I am feeling much better after my surgery. I have nerve pain, incision pain, and spasms, but my original pain is gone. Every day seems to be a little better.

    Good luck, sir!
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