Spinal Surgery Recovery - Notes on Help and Equipment

I read a lot of different stories online about what I might need for my recovery, so I thought I'd write up a little summary of the things I bought and needed, as well as the level of personal help I needed from my family during my recovery.


My doctor gave me nothing. I asked at my pre op about a toilet riser or a grabber and he said "Well, why don't you wait and see if you even need them".

Now, I'm really strong, was very active before surgery, and I'm really independent. I wish I would have bought some stuff to have at home.

The hospital PT sent me home with a walker, and that was a HUGE help. If your insurance will cover it, get it. I only used it for maybe a week. But having it was a real help. I also stole a cane from my mother-in-law and that was also a huge help. I used that alternately with the walker the first week, and then when I was getting out on my own the second week. The first couple of times I went in a car, it was really helpful to have the cane.

I had my husband get me a toilet seat riser and that was such a blessing, let me tell you! GET ONE!

I didn't have a grabber until about a week ago but I wish I would have had one. Honestly, I have a handful of times I bent a little more than I should have because I was alone and needed something low to the ground or on the ground. Once I got that grabber I realized I really should have had it the whole time. I'm not sure why my doctor thought I wouldn't need it.  My advice would be to get one at soon as you go home.

This maybe should go in my poop post, but I also had flushable wipes, and they were awesome. I heard a couple of stories of people having to have their spouse wipe for them..........dear Lord please no! I probably could have done the job myself w/ regular toilet paper but the flushable wipes were a huge help. I'd say get some of those, too.


I had someone home with me only for the first two days, and then I was on my own. Between my kids and my husbands schedules, I was only home alone for 4 or 5 hours, and I was sleeping most of that time the first week or so. I dropped a few things here and there and I had a couple of days where I couldn't reach the snacks I wanted, but otherwise it was really ok. I'd say have someone with you the first day or two and see how it goes. I'm not going to lie....if my husband could have taken off another couple of days, I wouldn't have said no to that extra security.

If you're wondering how much help you'll need when you get home, I think it just depends on your level of health and mobility prior to your surgery and how long you'd have to be alone. I had the option of having church members come by also (we live near most of our congregation), but I ended up not really needing that.

On that church note.....we DID have our church offer to make us meals for two weeks and we took them up on it. And that was a HUGE help. Those first two weeks, my husband was the only responsible grown up in the house, so having meals delivered was a true blessing. If you are in a community where you can take advantage of this type of help, I'd say do it. Don't be too proud. I hate taking help from people but having our meals taken care of was a huge burden off our shoulders.

If you can't do that, I would say think about prepping some freezer meals ahead of time.

I also got a LOT of healthy snack food (mostly trail mix and Larabars) to be able to graze on during the day while I was alone. It was helpful to just be able to grab something and keep it at the couch or bed with me.


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