For many patients in Beverly Hills, back surgery can be a good thing when all is said and done, especially if they can do the things that matter most without distracting pain. Still, there will be a period after your surgery is over when you will need to give your body time to heal, no matter what type of procedure you had to stabilize your spine or decompress nerves. Your recovery may be less stressful if you know what items to keep handy while you’re still at the hospital recovering and when you get back home.
1. Slip-On Shoes
Typically, patients won’t be discharged from the hospital until they can walk around with little or no assistance. When you’re able to walk, you’ll want something comfortable on your feet. Slip-on shoes like Crocs may be ideal since you won’t have to bend down to tie them. Crocs have grips on the bottom so you won’t have to worry about slipping. When you do start to walk around in your hospital room and later at home, you may also appreciate having the following items:
- Socks if your feet naturally get cold
- A comfortable robe
- Pajamas (choose ones that button in the front so you won’t have to excessively reach to slip them on and off)
2. Water Bottle with Attached Straw
You’ll need to stay hydrated as you recover. Lifting yourself too frequently to take sips may be stressful on your spine. Instead, use a sports water bottle that has a straw attached so you won’t have to strain as much. On a related note, some hospital rooms tend to be dry, so you may want to bring:
- Lip balm to keep your lips moist
- Nasal spray
- Hand moisturizer
3. Stool Softeners and Laxatives
A common issue after surgery is constipation, which sometimes occurs because of the medications taken during the immediate recovery period. Your doctor can recommend a stool softener or laxative that’s appropriate for you. If you want a more natural solution, consider the following foods that have natural laxative properties:
- Berries, figs, apples, pears, and other high-fiber fruits
- Probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir
- Apple cider and prune juice
You may not be permitted to shower right away, but sanitized wipes can help you stay clean until it’s safe for you to take a bath or shower. If you’re going to be in the hospital for a few days or more, consider bringing a toiletry kit that also includes:
- Toothpaste and a toothbrush
- Manual or electric razor
When you get back home, avoid placing too much stress on your spine from trips back and forth to the kitchen by putting a mini-fridge in the main area where you will be recovering. You can use it to store fruit juices, water, and healthy snacks. You can also use it as a source of fresh ice for your ice pack if you are still having some discomfort. Another option is to use a cooler.
Most patients are advised not to excessively reach or stretch. For those times when you’ll need to reach certain things, use a grabber. These devices have long handles and convenient hand grips you can use to safely get things. For heavier items, ask friends or family members to put those things on lower shelves or even right on your counter or table.
7. Toilet Riser
The simple act of getting up and down to use the toilet can sometimes place extra pressure on a healing spine. A toilet riser can make this task easier. Also, consider using a shower brush with a long handle to avoid lifting your arms too high. A shower mat can reduce slipping and falling risks.
8. Pillows and Extra Cushions
It’s not always easy to find a comfortable place to rest or sit as you recover. Inflatable donut cushions can make your favorite chairs or your sofa more comfortable, and extra pillows may increase your comfort as you sleep. Just don’t overdo it with the pillows. Too much elevation could throw off your spine-neck alignment.
Get in touch with The Spine Institute if you think you might need minimally invasive spine surgery. Beverly Hills residents have found effective relief for their chronic back and neck pain with the help of Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert surgeons. Call 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.