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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Thought I'd better copy this info since unless you've seen this list - you've got shopping to do before Monday! I've copied this from pg 14 of our original L5-S1 thread:

Congratulations on your decision to get this done & behind you & on the road to recovery. Since we can't go back & undo our injury, it's great they can repair it with such success rates! You may want to do some shopping this wk-end - this is a list that's made the rounds here that is so helpful in preparing your environment for post op: (some of us didn't find this thread til wks after surgery & wish we'd had this info!) (You may want to pick & choose or splurge & get the whole 9 yards!) (it does look a bit overwhelming now that I see it again- but really, some of this stuff is a life saver & so helpful post op)

-raised toilet seat
-shower chair
-long handled reachers/grabbers
-handicap rails put in shower
-long handled back brush for showering
-shower mat so you don't slip
-soap on a rope, or liquid soap for showering
-extra bed pillows to prop your back up when side lying & for between knees/down to ankle
-remove all throw rugs so you don't slip or trip on them
-elastic shoelaces for shoes that tie, or slip ons
-straws for drinking while laying down
-a stack of good books, magazines,or small crafts to keep you busy
-go to movie rental store and/or library and make a list of what you will want to watch/read during your recovery
-if you have cable, get a couple of movie channels
-put new batteries in the remote control
-a walkman with your favorite music
-have all your clothes and pjs easily accessible
-prepare meal ahead of time and keep in the freezer
-get paper plates, napkins, and plastic silverware so you have less clean up to worry about
-list of emergency phone numbers close by
-keep prescriptions close by
-check your drawers around the house, & if they stick, use bar of soap to make them glide easier
-re-arrange cabinets, refrigertor etc. to have the things at a height that won't cause you to bend
-if you'll be wearing a brace, wear it for a while pre-op to get used to getting around in it
-raise your bed on blocks for ease in getting in and out of bed
-move your computer to your bedside so you can keep in touch with all your cyber friends(or position so you can stand & type)
-have lots of extra cotton t-shirts or tank tops to wear under your brace.(not everyone has a brace)
-make sure your clothes will fit over a brace
-teach your significant other, or kids to work the washer and dryer
-build a platform for the clothes dryer. It has been raised up approx. 2ft. I can just reach in and pull out with no strain, when I am more healed.
-Make sure that all the liquids you drink are in light weight containers.
-Also make sure if you have pets that you have help in feeding them or walking them if you have a dog that requires such. You should not bend over to feed and water your pets. I used a very low computer chair with wheels and very carefully leaned over to feed my cat. I didn't bend, I leaned. It was quite a trick, but I figured out how to safely do it.
To the above I would add Ludens (to soothe your throat from irritation caused by the tube that is pushed down it during general anesthesia), satin sheets (to make it easier to move around in bed), and Johnson and Johnson First Aid Waterproof Dressing Kit (to cover the incision during your first shower 3 days post op).

(and I'd add lots of your favorite beverages, fruit & soft drinks, fruits,icecreams/sherberts- whatever can pamper yourself with! CHICKEN, fish for protein and Veggy's fruit to all help you heal best!)

Also, - some posters didn't receive post op instructions- here's a copy of mine:

Micro-Disc/Laminotomy 0-3 wks Post Op Instructions that I received:
Bed mobility: Need to roll like a log out of bed:roll both hips & shoulders at same time in one direction to sidelying position;from this position move legs frwd off bed w/hips flexed, then use your elbow & other hand to push up to sitting position. (They offer a 3 mos course SOMEWHERE in how to do this!) (just kiddin) - (it is easier tho if the PT or nurse had showed you how in the hospital). Shoulders & hips shld move as unit always. I found by tensing abdomin it was easier to move this way. This prevents using your back to get up. Important not to twist or bend from waist til okayed by Doctor.
Sit to Stand: Slide fwd in chair & use your legs to stand - don't lean fwd when getting up
Stand to sit: Keep trunk straight, sit on front part of chair using legs to let you down, then slide back in chair,don't lean fwd & sit back in chair.
Posture: Sit w/back straight against back of chair. Place both feet flat on floor. Hips & knees shld be level. Protect your back w/a rolled up towel or lumbar support.
Sleeping: best sleeping positions are:
On your back w/one not too big pillow under your head & 1 or 2 under knees
Lying on side w/pillow under head & 1 pillow between knees. Firm mattress is preferred.
General: don't twist back, move body as unit always(in bed or standing)
don't reach or bend over to get things til cleared by Doc
Don't lift anything heavier than a plate til cleared by Doc (no groceries, trash, small kids, etc.)
Take lots of short walks, gradually increasing distance. Walk at steady pace that's comfortable for you. Good walking shoes - no hi heels or boots.
Exercises: Gluteal isometrics:squeeze buttocks together & hold for count of ten
Quad Iso's: Tighten up top thigh muscles, keep knees straight as possible, push the back of knees into bed & hold for count of ten
Ankle pumps/circles: Point toes down then up. Repeat. Perform ankle circles in 1 direction - then the other.

Mar 2003:Micro-Discectomy w/Hemilaminectomy L5-S1
Prior to that 4 mos of Sciatic pain; left side
Herniated Disc L5/S1
Bulging Disc L4/L5
08/20/03: At 5 mos post-op: Doing well - requested PT - into 5th wk now - finding the strengthening/stretching exercises are helping back tightness - but only temporarily. Back & abs are getting stronger to support spine. I Recommend PT after 3 mos post op. Started mine @ 5 mos, has not removed constant extreme feeling of tightness,pressure,
pulling & am currently concerned it is scar tissue adhering. Looking for approp. Doctor to help me confirm this & appropriate treatment for it.

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