Even though minimally invasive spine surgery boasts shorter recovery times, you’re still going to have an initial period where you’ll have much less mobility than normal. Depending on what kind of surgery you’ve had, you may also be restricted from performing certain kinds of movements. Here’s a list of items you might not have already — and that you might not think of — that can help make your recovery at home more comfortable.
Button-front Pajamas: You don’t want to be twisting or reaching over your head, so make sure you have PJs that button up in front. Pick a pair that’s roomy enough that you aren’t constricted, but not so oversized that they could bunch up underneath you.
Long-handled Scratcher: It’s inevitable that when you can’t bend or reach, you’re probably going to wind up with an itch that’s just outside your comfort zone. You definitely don’t want to let minor irritations get to you, so it’s a good idea to keep some kind of scratcher on hand. A wooden spoon with a long handle is one option, or you can pick up a telescoping back scratcher at the drug store.
Cooler: You don’t want to be up and down from your bed or recliner, let alone tackling stairs in the first days of your recover. Stock a cooler with ice packs and your favorite beverages that you can keep within easy reach of where you’re recuperating.
Shower Brush: You may have specific instructions regarding showering and your incision site, but one thing that’s almost certain is that you shouldn’t be bending, twisting, or reaching. To keep clean without stressing your back, get a long-handled shower brush and a shower gel. You can clean even hard-to-reach places without strain.
Grabber: Especially if you’ll be on your own, a grabber — a long handle with a little “claw” at the end that you control with just a squeeze — is a must-have. It’s a good idea to keep items you know you’ll need within easy reach, whether it’s toiletries, favorite snacks, or the remote. Should you need something else though and not have someone around to get it for you, a grabber can help you reach it. It can also help you retrieve dropped items without having to bend over.
Trash Bags: It might sound totally weird, but trash bags can come in handy when you’re recuperating. If you’re having trouble getting in or out of bed, lay down a trash bag first. The slippery plastic reduces the friction, so you can more comfortably slide your way on or off.
Crocs: They might not be the height of fashion, but Crocs — or any other type of rubber-soled, slip-on shoe — are especially helpful with recovery. You’ll be encouraged to get mobile and walk around starting on Day One, and you can’t be bending over to tie shoes. Plus Crocs come in tons of colors for both men and women, so you’ve still got footwear options!