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View Full Version : What is the average hospital stay and use of a walker



Kayde
10-12-2011, 10:15 PM
How long is the average hospital stay? I assume everyone takes oral pain meds or is that in your iv? I also assume everyone had a catheter and used a walker. I believe that I will only be fused to L1 unless something changes. See dr Moreno Friday. Any last ?'s anyone can think of they wished they had asked but didn't. Making my final list of things. Dr had an icv filter put in because of the length of surgery and won't be as active-idk what to expect so much. Except if they don't plan on knocking me out idk that I can stand them to remove that filter out of my neck that may be a perm insertion. I was hoping by day three I could be up and walking around. And did anyone have to wear a brace? If so for how long? I don't do so well with those. Sorry for all the ?'s but I guess the closer it gets the more anxiety I seem to have. Just hope I am doing the right thing.

JDM555
10-12-2011, 10:30 PM
I'll try my best to answer your questions, here we go.

Average hospital stay is roughly 7 days, some get out in 4-5 and some take longer up to 10-12 days, but again, average is 7 days. Most people take meds for the first few days through the IV, some people do the transfer to oral pain meds at the end of their hospital stay like me, others do it when they are discharged. Usually yes, people get a catheter inserted to their bladder so you don't have to get up to go to the bathroom. Walkers are helpful the first few days, but after you're discharged, it's not something you need, it's up to you whether to have one or not.

Regarding braces, some doctors I've talked to said wearing a soft brace after surgery would help, but not necessary. It's all up to surgeon preference, ask your surgeon. I'll be wearing a soft brace to support my back after my revisionals. The hard brace is annoying, but the soft corset brace is very easy to use and it really does help support your back, at least it does for me.

It's normal to be anxious about a coming up surgery, and asking many questions, that's normal. If you feel confident with your doctor, and did your own research and agree with everything your surgeon says, then just relax and just wait for your day to come. Good luck, and if you have anymore questions, I'm sure many of us on here would be willing to help.

mabeckoff
10-12-2011, 10:39 PM
Regarding the brace, it is really up to your surgeon. All of my surgeries I had different braces to wear. That is a question to ask your surgeon

leahdragonfly
10-12-2011, 11:33 PM
Hi Kayde,

I stayed in the hospital for 5 days (T8-sacrum). I used a walker at home for the first day or maybe two for balance, but after that was fine without.

My doc had me wear a soft brace for 3 months, I hate braces too, but this one was comfortable and easy to wear. I wore it over my clothes and got some looks out in public, but not too bad! It really helped support my back for awhile, and I was sore for about two weeks after I got out of it. This is a great question for your doctor, however, as there is a lot of variation.

JenniferG
10-13-2011, 01:30 AM
In contrast to others here, I was in hospital 19 days. <red face>

When the medication was working, I had no pain, but when it wasn't I needed morphine injections to bring it down so they wouldn't let me home until I no longer needed the injections. I thought I was never going to get home. My pain miraculously disappeared after I came home.

I woke up after surgery with 2 epidurals so felt no pain for the 4 days I had the epidurals. Then oral meds.

I didn't have a brace.

I was sat up the day after surgery but felt faint and so I didn't actually stand up until the next day (day 3) when I used a walker for the one and only time.

They took my catheter out Day 3 or 4. After that I was able to shower without help.

I hope you have an excellent outcome!

Marina63
10-13-2011, 08:46 AM
Hi Kayde!
I was in the hospital for 5 days. I was sitting up by day 3 and standing up day 4. My surgery was 6 hours although they prepared me for 7-8. I used the walker for two days in the hospital and for five minutes when I got home. I did use the walker when someone took me to the store b/c I was terrified someone would bump in to me. The walker and my pitiful expression kept everyone far away. I couldn't sit in the car until about three weeks post surgery and then little by little I was able to sit for longer periods of time. I am just over three months post op now and drove 3 hours out of town over the weekend.

I was off narcotics by six weeks and started driving at that point as well. I am now off all pain meds. I have the thoracic tightness and nerves burning and stinging.

just remember, everyone is different in their recovery. I am typically a fast healer so my recovery is probably better than a lot of others. I was lucky in that I was gone for a month on vacation and came back a week before my surgery so I didn't have much time to think about it.

Best of luck and try not to make yourself too crazy ^.^

Doreen1
10-13-2011, 10:42 AM
Do hospitals provide patients with walkers for when they leave the hospital?

Warmly,
Doreen

mabeckoff
10-13-2011, 11:14 AM
Do hospitals provide patients with walkers for when they leave the hospital?

Warmly,
Doreen

I had a choice of a cane or a walker after both surgeries. I did not take the walker.

kennedy
10-13-2011, 12:55 PM
I was in the hospital for 7 days.
And did anyone have to wear a brace? I didn't have to wear a brce after surgery

JDM555
10-13-2011, 01:09 PM
Most likely cause you were young, and your surgery wasn't that severe. Braces are used in older patients, or severe surgeries where you need the support, or just surgeon preference. I didn't wear a brace my first surgery either.

Marina63
10-13-2011, 04:09 PM
Do hospitals provide patients with walkers for when they leave the hospital?

Warmly,
Doreen

My hospital did not. I had to purchase my own.

Doreen1
10-13-2011, 05:45 PM
My hospital did not. I had to purchase my own.

You didn't use yours much, did you? Perhaps I can borrow yours :-) I have not forgotten about planning a lunch date.

Warmly,
Doreen

LindaRacine
10-13-2011, 07:24 PM
How long is the average hospital stay? I assume everyone takes oral pain meds or is that in your iv? I also assume everyone had a catheter and used a walker. I believe that I will only be fused to L1 unless something changes. See dr Moreno Friday. Any last ?'s anyone can think of they wished they had asked but didn't. Making my final list of things. Dr had an icv filter put in because of the length of surgery and won't be as active-idk what to expect so much. Except if they don't plan on knocking me out idk that I can stand them to remove that filter out of my neck that may be a perm insertion. I was hoping by day three I could be up and walking around. And did anyone have to wear a brace? If so for how long? I don't do so well with those. Sorry for all the ?'s but I guess the closer it gets the more anxiety I seem to have. Just hope I am doing the right thing.

Hi...

I think it depends on whether you're having everything done in one stage. At UCSF, the average long fusion patient stays 5 days for 1 day surgeries, and about 10 days for surgeries that are staged.

You will definitely have a catheter. It will probably be removed as soon as you get ambulatory. I think everyone also gets a walker. Some patients are able to leave the hospital without a walker, while others use a walker for months or years afterward. It really depends on your stability.

I don't think the IVF can be permanent, so you should look forward to having it removed. I don't remember ever hearing anyone talk about what removal was like. THIS (http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=venacavafilter) makes it sound like they'll put you out for its removal. For some reason Dr. Moreno always seems to use them on his deformity patients, but I've never heard of another doctor who does it routinely. I bet he had a big complication some years ago, and just doesn't want to take any chances.

Susie*Bee
10-13-2011, 07:32 PM
I was in the hospital for 11 days... my surgery had been a full 8 hours and included a few extra procedures. I did not ever have a walker, but had a cane that was used only to help me go up and down stairs. I used to take it out with me as a "prop" later on when I was going to be in a crowded place so people wouldn't crowd around me... I did have a brace-- they molded one for me in the hospital. It was one of those hard TLSO ones. I wore it for 5 months. My surgeon didn't usually brace his patients but felt I needed one. I was also on narcotics for 5 months. Everyone is different in their healing, so just go with how your body reacts to your surgery. The one most important thing to remember is that you'll get through it. And soon it will all be behind you. Oh-- and they had me sitting up right away- I think on the 2nd day. And walking right away. Best wishes!

titaniumed
10-13-2011, 09:55 PM
10 days, but they wanted to keep me. I was tired of playing Doctor:-) I only remember the last 4 days.

I didn’t want anyone to come down while I was in ICU, but they came and I heard about it later. I guess I was standing next to my bed, with many hoses hooked up, and when asked what I was doing, I replied, “I’m going down town, to play poker”.

I pretty much lost a week and don’t remember much while in ICU. When I woke, I was tied down because I was pulling hoses.

Here is a pic of me in the hospital.....and a pic of my “full” scoliosis brace.
Ed

Kayde
10-13-2011, 10:34 PM
I assume he either had an issue or knew someone who did. Seriously I have a puncture would like a screwdriver size. And i wasn't out and it hurt. I am purple for about 5 inches everywhere around that and now it is bruising to my ribs. Until a few years ago I guess they were all perm. I just know that them doing that type of puncture at my neck while the fish that out of my jugular and not being out isn't something I would do well with. I couldn't walk the day after and it is causing me not to go to the gym because of the pain. Been different. I know the FDA has issues with the filters because they can break and a prong can get to your heart- I'm thinking the removal could cause me to have a heart attack. I'm usually pretty good with things but that got me. Wasn't exactly how it was explained to me.

Kayde
10-13-2011, 10:40 PM
Well Ed at least you had your priorities right. I'm sure you wished you were going to play poker. And I have been strapped down before. Lol. I'm pretty sure I have a very similar picture of me at one of my hospital visits. I really dislike medical facilities of any kind.

titaniumed
10-13-2011, 11:25 PM
Kayde

I too, was afraid of hospitals and very jumpy on my first surgery. (Laser lithotripsy for kidney stone). I was cracking many many jokes......fiddling with the tackle box is serious stuff.

Since I made it through that one, (and yes it’s a delicate procedure), when I walked in for my scoli surgeries, I wasn’t as scared. I was scared, just not as much. When my vascular surgeon said that we have a very long day and installed the IV in the top of my wrist in .09 seconds, I was impressed. This guy was serious, no playing around if you know what I mean.

By the time I had my broken shoulder repaired, I wasn’t nervous at all. Same for my Gall bladder removal.

I could walk in now, and not worry much.....I think that education is important, and knowing exactly what to expect. Things are always difficult when you don’t know....Have confidence in the people that are working on you, after all, they are professionals.

Many of the old posters here have seen that picture I just posted of me.....I just had to post it one more time. LOL

And the “full” scoli brace....that’s a new one:- ) Talk about heat!

Ed

Doreen1
10-14-2011, 07:23 AM
10 days, but they wanted to keep me. I was tired of playing Doctor:-) I only remember the last 4 days.

I didn’t want anyone to come down while I was in ICU, but they came and I heard about it later. I guess I was standing next to my bed, with many hoses hooked up, and when asked what I was doing, I replied, “I’m going down town, to play poker”.

I pretty much lost a week and don’t remember much while in ICU. When I woke, I was tied down because I was pulling hoses.

Here is a pic of me in the hospital.....and a pic of my “full” scoliosis brace.
Ed

LOL! :-D I'm dying, Ed! What a great way to start my day, with laughter!

Warmly,
Doreen

leahdragonfly
10-14-2011, 08:36 AM
Kayde,

I am sorry to hear that you are so scared of the IVC filter removal. I would like to try and put your mind at ease about the removal, because it is generally quite simple and routine, and only takes a few minutes. I work in a Cath Lab and we put in and remove IVC filters routinely. The filter is shaped sort of like an umbrella, and it is withdrawn gently back into a cone-shaped retrieval device which folds the prongs back down. The size sheath we use is 2 mm in diameter, very small. Not sure what happened to make you so bruised last time, but I would talk to the radiologist about it when you arrive for the removal and tell him it was uncomfortable for you.

I have never seen or heard of a prong breaking off. The removal will definitely not lead to your having a heart attack (that is from a blocked coronary artery--no where near the IVC filter even if it did manage to break and float upstream). I would make sure they plan to give you procedural sedation so you are very relaxed and sleepy, and tell them it hurt when they put it in. The doctor can give you more local anesthetic and it really should not hurt.

Good luck,





I assume he either had an issue or knew someone who did. Seriously I have a puncture would like a screwdriver size. And i wasn't out and it hurt. I am purple for about 5 inches everywhere around that and now it is bruising to my ribs. Until a few years ago I guess they were all perm. I just know that them doing that type of puncture at my neck while the fish that out of my jugular and not being out isn't something I would do well with. I couldn't walk the day after and it is causing me not to go to the gym because of the pain. Been different. I know the FDA has issues with the filters because they can break and a prong can get to your heart- I'm thinking the removal could cause me to have a heart attack. I'm usually pretty good with things but that got me. Wasn't exactly how it was explained to me.

Marina63
10-14-2011, 01:03 PM
You didn't use yours much, did you? Perhaps I can borrow yours :-) I have not forgotten about planning a lunch date.

Warmly,
Doreen

Sorry, Doreen! My house is packed and I was sick of looking at the walker so I donated it to the local coop.
Yep, let me know about lunch. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Hope you are doing well!

Kayde
10-14-2011, 09:33 PM
Idk Gayle I really thought I would be asleep or almost asleep. Not even close. My groin area still swollen. The next day it had a lump the size of a goose egg and I couldn't walk. I haven't been to the gym all week because I am still so sore. Idk that I could stand them to remove that from my neck and have the puncture wound and swelling. I know they want me to have it removed in six weeks but not sure I can stand it. I still have two other minor procedures before year end and the thought of having the filter removed is by far the thing that causes me anxiety.

paula
10-15-2011, 08:23 PM
I was in the hospital for 8 days. My surgery was in two stages. I was moved to a rehab hospital for 4 more days. I'd really recommend going to a rehab place if you can. They did a great deal more to teach me about how to function in the next few weeks and months, rather than just lying there as I was in the hospital.

I was on Norco for about 2.5 months, but the last .5 month, I only took one or two a day when I needed one, rather than keeping up any kind of a schedule.

I came home with a wheelchair and a walker, but never used the wheelchair, and used the walker for only a couple of days.

And, I'm still wearing a brace, but only when I am driving or in a store, or walking where it would be easy to trip and fall. My doctor seems to be very conservative about his recommendations, which is fine with me. He said it was ok to move away from using it about a month ago, except for when I'm in the car, so I don't wear it unless I'm tired at home, or doing something like sorting laundry that requires a bit more movement from me than most of the other things I do. I did not have to wear it to sleep ever. It looks like this:
http://www.braceshop.com/productcart/pc/DonJoy-TLSO-Back-Brace-Orthosis-21p150.htm I actually like having it to wear when shopping etc because I think it makes people a little more careful around me than they would be otherwise. It also makes me feel safer.

golfnut
10-15-2011, 08:50 PM
I had asked about bracing before my surgery. I think it depends upon the surgeon. Dr. Lenke usually doesn't brace any more. I was more than willing to wear a brace but was told that the instrumentation that is now used has improved to secure the vertebrae and that the muscles will get stronger sooner if a brace is not used. I know some have mentioned that it was difficult to wean off of a brace. I guess it's all what your surgeon prefers.

titaniumed
10-16-2011, 03:13 PM
LOL! :-D I'm dying, Ed! What a great way to start my day, with laughter!

Warmly,
Doreen

Glad you liked that one! I figured that the “stormtrooper” pic would be good for a laugh.

I also had another pic, equally as funny that I was considering using. Talk about support! LOL It was Henry VIII’s armor....When you are king, you get the best!

progress
10-18-2011, 04:12 AM
Hi, I was in hospital for two weeks but that was only because my bowel stopped for so long (Ileus). That was the worst part and if ever I did it again I would enquire how to avoid it as a priority. I used a walker to go to the toilet the first few days. I didn't like them fumbling with my back to try and get on a bed pan. When I got home I was fine to walk up the road unaided and recovery has been quick since then. The fatigue gets to me still after 2 1/2 months so I feel like I need more TLC than I get. People keep telling me how well I look, however I think then they think I'm better than I really am. Having said that for the last few weeks I have grocery shopped on my own, yes with the trolley. I can stack the dishwasher etc, bending from the knees more. Hope I'm not pushing it...but it feels ok. Just need more energy and a trip on a luxury cruiseliner...any offers?
Kelly