In addition to the required items the following equipment or modifications may be helpful after back surgery and deterring the need for visiting a pain center:
- Chair cushions
In order to sit in chairs that might otherwise be too low, causing you to sit with your hips bent past 90 degrees, you will need some cushions to raise the height of the seat. Cushions made for wooden chairs may be enough or you might get some boat cushions from a marine supply store. The advantage of the boat cushions is they often have handles so they can be carried from place-to-place. Two or more may be stacked, where necessary.
- Shower chair
Adjust so that you can sit on it without bending your hips past 90 degrees. Useful if you are not allowed 50% weight-bearing. Also it can be handy for support if you lean into the shower/tub to wash before being allowed to immerse your incision.
- Handheld shower
For about $30 you can get at handheld shower extender you may find useful for washing your hair before you are allowed to take a full shower due to the incision. These are available at hardware stores or homecenters and can be installed with one wrench.
- Grab bars
Depending on your home shower/tub it may be helpful to have some grab bars to help steady yourself while getting into the shower/tub.
- Backback or fanny pack.
I was surprised by how mobile I was on crutches, but one problem was that with both hands on the crutches I didn’t have any way to carry things around the house or at the office. A backpack or fanny pack helps. If you’re using a walker you can buy a pack that attaches to the walker.
- Water bottle
As described in the item above carrying things around is difficult. If you like to have a beverage with you, I recommend a jogger’s water bottle with a belt holster. I used one a lot.
- Cordless phone with belt clip
Handy to keep phone nearby at all times (you won’t want to be running across the house to catch the phone). A “hands-free” headset may also be helpful.
- Kitchen cart
If you need to prepare food and carry dishes from counter to table you can find inexpensive carts at Target or Wal-Mart or similar you can use for that purpose.
- Hospital bed
Sleeping while observing the hip restrictions in the first six weeks can be difficult. A hospital bed can be rented from home health suppliers and may be covered by your insurance.
- Move things higher.
During the time you have the 90 degree bending rule you may have difficulty reaching things on lower shelves or in lower cabinets. Move often-used items to shelves that can be reached without bending over.