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how much help will I need post PLIF?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
hi. I just introduced myself in the intro forum. I have a 2 level PLIF this coming Wed. my question: I have 2 kids... 11 & 5 yrs old. and stairs all over our home. my husband has lined up 5 weeks of help for me. that's a beautiful thing... but I was wondering if that is overkill? or will I probably need it? I have stairs all over the place. like from our master bedroom on the second floor... just to get to my bathroom, I have to go up 4 stairs. so... 2 questions, really. how big a deal will stairs be? and will I actually need that much help?

they're obviously not babies... but I still prepare meals for them, and do the baths, and bedtime routine and all that. surely 5 weeks is plenty right? assuming no setbacks and I'm a good girl and do as I'm told during recovery?

thank you all for your thoughts.


  • I had a 2 level PLIF (L4-S1). My mom was here for a month and my husband took the week of my surgery off. My kids were 17, 13 and 12 at the time (much older and more independent). Stairs wern't too big of a deal for me, it was just managing the walker with them the first week or two-then the cane. Let your PT person in the hospital know about the stair issue and they'll teach you how to manage them. Just go slow and have something to hold onto! Is your husband home on a regular basis (at night, on weekends)? If so you'll be fine to manage the kids (without complications) at about 3 weeks- just the very basics and for very short bursts. You won't be able to bend, lift or twist for months, so he'll have to help with the bath routines and helping to get the younger one dressed, shoes tied etc... You probably won't need the help for 5 weeks (I went back to work at 7 weeks), but you will need your husband a lot for help with grocery shopping and housework. You just do what you can, when you can, and the rest will have to wait. The benefit of keeping the help "on call" is that you have a tendency to have good days where you feel great, but then end up over-doing. Unfortunately, that leaves you stuck on your butt or back for a few days with increased pain. It's all about 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Just prepare everyone (and yourself) that things may not run just the same as it usually does. Even little ones are intuitive and will step up and help. They like the feeling of being needed by you, and having the opportunity to show how well they can manage for themselves. ;) I wish you lots of luck and an easy recovery!!! :) -Andrea
  • Hi G
    Firstly all the best for your op, I know it will go well. :)
    Now, what is your home help going to be doing? I am hoping that she/he will be doing the housework preparing meals , shopping etc as well as anything you need help with.
    If you can, ask them to prepare meals in advance for you so after the 5 weeks you can have a stock in the freezer for the family.
    Mentally- not having to worry about preparing meals is a really big thing.
    You will probably find that it is easier then you realise as long as you do what the Dr says, get lots of walking done, rest when you can, avoid BLT and avoid sitting too much. Oh and keep ahead of the pain- that is really what I have learned. (4 level PLIF).
    I had 10 days in hospital and 2 weeks in Rehab hospital as I live on my own, but I had arranged my life (meals etc) before I went in) so when I came home I was fine. I dont have stairs but I was OK to do them.

    Blessings and prayers for you
    Blessings Sara
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  • Not at all, especially if you have that many stairs! I actually had to stay with my parents and my mom literally did everything for me for 5 weeks luckily my kids are older then yours so they were able to stay home and go to school and be with my hubby at night, I wish you tons of luck and keep us posted how things turn out!!! :)
  • What is a PLIF???? And a ACDF?????:? New to the form and would like to know what I'm reading!!! Thanks,B.Ex.
  • PLIF = posterior lumbar interbody fusion. If you ever come across one of these acronyms (and there are many) if you type it in the search lone (upper right hand corner you will get some really detailed explanations.

    Kin ;) ;)
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  • hey g,
    i had a 2 level 360 interbody fusion this past september...(basically they went in thru the front and the back. I have stairs in my home. believe or not they had me climbing stairs before i left the hospital (practice steps), so i did ok. i slept ALOT when i came home, i had my mom here for a week, then i was alone for a week, then my husband took off for week. at the time my daughters were 7 and 4. they were a great help, the 4 yr old actully helped me in the shower and getting dressed. what i mostly needed help with the kids were totally able to do until my hubby came home. good luck, keep us posted!!!!
  • I had surgery on a Monday...they had me climbing the stairwell at the hospital and had me climb in and out of a tub in the rehab dept before I left the hospital. My short story...My fiance is an over the road truck driver, his Grandfather had just passed away so he had to take time off of work for that so he couldn't afford to take off of work to take care of me. So, I asked my Mom for help..(almost a joke). We have a 6 year old daughter that had to get to and from school. My mom stayed with me for the first night, then came the second night to make dinner and take care of my daughter...but went home that night and was going to come back the next morning to get my daughter on the bus. I managed with that. I took care of myself during the day starting right away. I had to use a walker for about a week, I didn't have the strength to stand myself up and to get around the house very well. But what do you do but sleep for the first week anyways! But to make a long story short...5 weeks of help will be great, and should be enough. Good luck with your surgery.
  • my husband comes home for dinner, but then goes back to work and gets home at 10:30pm. (he goes in at 1:30) that's why he lined up the help for me. but of the 4 weeks after I get home from the hospital, he'll be with me the first, and the last right before school starts. and every day/night while I'm in the hospital.

    I do think I'm set with the help... and better too much than be scrambling/nervous about it later on.

    the stairs everywhere... I really wanna be careful with those. not all of them have railings.

    I'm getting nervous! I think more than anything, I just wanna wake up and be told it all went well, you know? and then one day at a time be that much closer to a solid fusion.

    thank you all for your support & prayers.
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