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Bathing following PLIF L3-L5

LoanstarLLoanstar Posts: 7
edited 12/28/2014 - 4:04 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My surgery is scheduled in two weeks. I have been gathering supplies for post-op home care. After reading an article it occurred to me I may have an issue. In my home I only have a bathtub with a shower. I purchased a shower/tub board which I have been using for a few days to get use to. The article stated that for the first 3 months you have to take shower because you aren't allowed to step into a tub because of the strain of stepping over the edge of the tub! Yikes! Anyone else have some feedback on this? This point never occurred to that stepping over the edge of the tub might not be allowed but it is a rather high step. I have an extremely large amount of pain now and have difficulty reaching the lower half of my body to wash. I've been looking for aides to help with some of these issues since I know that following surgery it will only become more difficult and have more restrictions. I have found a long curved handled sponge I am thinking about ordering as well as one that can apply lotion. Other Ideas would be helpful. Guess shaving my legs is out of the question.


  • I had my L5-S1 fused almost two years ago. My bathroom is upstairs, so I did not get up there for the first week and half or so, but when I did get up there, I had a chair for the shower. My bathroom also has the bathtub/shower in one, so I did have to step over it, but I was never alone and had help. I am very young, so I live with my parents still and my mom always helped me. And yes, the long handle is a must, as you will not be able to bend for anything! And yes, you are right on about the no shaving part too, unfortunately!

    Good luck!
  • Can you side step i? This is something that I would ask your surgeon and see if you could possibly speak to a PT about this when you are in the hospital or before your surgery. They would be able to find the best way for you to get in without placing unneeded strain on your back.
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  • Great idea about side stepping into the shower, it could be an alternative. I'll be sure and ask. Thanks. I do have an adult daughter that I can ask to come help me bathe if I think I may need help.
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