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View Full Version : Did anyone go to a rehab place post-op?



BetsyK
10-21-2011, 10:57 AM
I don't have a surgery date yet, but my surgeon said I'll probably go to rehab for a couple weeks after. Wondering if anyone else did that, and what your experience was.

mabeckoff
10-21-2011, 11:20 AM
Yes I have been to rehab several times and it is a excellent thing to do

CHRIS WBS
10-21-2011, 03:07 PM
I had a T4 to sacrum fusion in June ’08 at age 59. I did go to rehab for two weeks following my 5½ day hospital stay because I live alone and I needed the use of a walker for several weeks following my surgery. However, my surgeon was not too enthused about my going. The longer your hospital stay and rehab stay, the more exposure you have for acquiring a post-op infection. The other concern my surgeon had was that in rehab you are immediately pushed into therapeutic routines that my surgeon opposed. He wanted me to just walk, walk and walk some more. His nurse was constantly in touch with the rehab facility to make sure the therapists did not have me doing anything “goofy.” Overall, I felt my rehab stay was beneficial. I had a private room and the staff was exceptional. Presently I don’t know how many insurance companies will still approve a rehab stay following spinal fusion.

LindaRacine
10-21-2011, 03:11 PM
Hi...

You've heard the two sides of the debate. If you're the kind of person who will push themselves to get up and walk even if you don't feel like it, I totally agree that you're better off (in terms of health) to avoid rehab. If you won't push yourself, or if you're just too sick to take care of your basic needs, rehab may be your only choice.

Regards,
Linda

djkinkead
10-21-2011, 03:55 PM
I think what Linda said is probably the best way to put it.

When I had my surgery two months ago, I think I got a slow start to recovery because I needed extra blood (the surgeon was able to recycle 50% of my blood in the surgery, but apparently it was not enough and I wasn't strong enough to stand on my own the first day). Hence, I received two units of blood in the next three days.

The rehab part of the hospital was full and I still wasn't getting out of bed myself by the time I needed to leave the surgical unit, so I was offered to either go home and have a rehab person visit my house a couple times a week or go to a rehab center. I chose to go to a rehab center (just for a few days until I could get out of bed myself and walk places with my walker--although I was walking with a walker by then). I checked into a rehab center on a Saturday morning. They didn't have any physical therapists there on the weekend, so there was no one to help me "rehab". They also had put me in the long term part of their facility because there was no room in the short term.

The only reason I mention all this is that if you are alone and you feel you cannot take care of yourself when you need to leave the hospital, these are things you need to look for in a facility.

Chris was right, too, some physical therapists don't understand spinal fusion and all you need to learn is how to properly get into and out of bed, how to turn in the bed, how to go up stairs and walk as much as you can (with walker). They should also show you how to use any aids (like a sock aid) if you need them.

My two cents as my rehab experience was the experience from hell--not just because of the lack of therapists, but other things...inattentiveness to getting pain meds on time, etc....

loves to skate
10-21-2011, 04:03 PM
I went to rehab for 11 days in between my two surgeries. There was no way I could have gone home between the two surgeries being 67 years young at the time. The rehab hospital wing I was on was geared for orthopedic surgery patients and the PT's and OT's were wonderful. I got excellent care and excellent food and was watched very carefully by MD's who were in constant touch with my surgeon. Everyone there knew my surgeon and did not deviate from his orders.
Sally

ADMoul
10-21-2011, 04:16 PM
My fusion was t-4 to sacrum and I was originally told I would go to re-hab for a week after my hospital stay. However, I did "too well" during my hospital stay so that I didn't qualify for my insurance to cover it. I came home and had visiting nurse care for a week or 2 including PT and I was fine. Everyone's different and in my case, it worked out for the best not to have gone. Good luck to you.

Doreen1
10-21-2011, 04:24 PM
I don't have a surgery date yet, but my surgeon said I'll probably go to rehab for a couple weeks after. Wondering if anyone else did that, and what your experience was.

Hi Betsy,
I see you are in Atlanta. Who is your surgeon? What is the measurement of your curve(s)?

Warmly,
Doreen

Mojo's Mom
10-21-2011, 06:14 PM
I had just been considering starting a thread with just this question. Let me throw in another consideration: what about the situation where you live 1300 miles away from where you are having surgery, so that you will have to fly home and be very far away from your surgeon? This is the only reason I have considered doing rehab after my hospital stay.

mabeckoff
10-21-2011, 06:59 PM
I had just been considering starting a thread with just this question. Let me throw in another consideration: what about the situation where you live 1300 miles away from where you are having surgery, so that you will have to fly home and be very far away from your surgeon? This is the only reason I have considered doing rehab after my hospital stay.

Then I would definitly stay in rehab. If any of Dr Bederman's patients live far away, he sees them after their stay in rehab before they go home

titaniumed
10-21-2011, 09:04 PM
Hi Betsy

Welcome to the forum.

The one thing that you want to make sure of is that you are weaned off injectables in the hospital. I skipped rehab, and weaned at home alone which wasn’t easy. It was my decision. My hospital bed was horrible and I think if they had a foam topper, I would have stuck around. I also had a roomate that had 10 support people every day making noise and watching tv and that was bothering me. Private rooms are worth consideration.

I was ok with standing and walking. It was sleeping and sitting that was difficult. It was hard for me to get comfortable after surgery for the first few weeks and had a lot of trouble sleeping.

I was warned about being a couch potato....and my surgeon sent many people to my house to make sure of that. Its way cheaper to send nurses and rehab personal to your home than receiving a healthy invoice from a rehab facility. If you elect to skip, your insurance company will love you.

I had 5 surgeries in 2 years, and was an expensive date....I was also worried about using up my insurance being the frugal guy that I am.

I think that the rehab decision has to be made at the time. See how you feel.

Ed

jerseyot
10-21-2011, 09:19 PM
I am considering the same thing after my 2 surgeries in Jan.2012....rehab facility or in-home rehab?? I'm coming at it from both sides of the coin though...i am an Occupational Therapist working in a rehab facility AND i will be a post-op spinal fusion/revision patient (again)....i totally agree with what EVERYONE has said. There are so many things to consider - as a therapist, my first priority with my patients is always their safety (especially with regard to bed mobility, functional transfers - in/out of bed, in/out of tub, on/off toilet, etc) - can they get up and down/in and out safely? The other things to consider are your home environment. Do you live alone? Do you have family support or other social supports to do things like light meal prep, light house keeping, etc? Do you have stairs (or even several flights of stairs as some older home in my area do) and can you go up and down them safely and with enough endurance? And from a medical standpoint, although hospital aquired infections are out there (and quite common especially in the acute care hospital setting, where you would have your surgery), subacute acquired infections are not something that i personally have seen alot of - and in the very few cases that i have seen them, the patients were admitted with "something starting" either from a surgical site or staples as is the case with total hip and total knee patients. Can you get one at a rehab facility? Absolutely. But you are most susceptible and more likely to get one (if you get one) while your in the acute care setting...just my two cents on that from experience. I am debating the same issue - but i will have my parents and husband here to help out with the kids and laundry and meals - so i'm leaning more towards in-home visiting PT/OT vs inpatient rehab...but like others have said, you (and I) will just have to see how things are after surgery. I wish you the best!!

mabeckoff
10-21-2011, 09:51 PM
My insurance will pay for me to go to rehab but will not pay for rehab to come to my house. So check with your insurance company

BetsyK
10-23-2011, 01:47 PM
Thanks for all the input. I guess alot depends on how a patient is doing at the end of their hospital stay. My surgeon said I'd be in the hospital 7 - 10 days. I'll check with insurance about rehab, and I guess the doc will decide at the time. My husband will push me to get up and walk, and he's a great cook, so I won't go hungry.

sidrid
10-28-2011, 02:11 AM
I don't have a surgery date yet, but my surgeon said I'll probably go to rehab for a couple weeks after. Wondering if anyone else did that, and what your experience was.

Sometime after my surgery, a few weeks, I think, I was transferred to the rehab facility in the hospital where I was a patient. I stayed there about two weeks. My transfer there was delayed because I contracted MRSA after surgery.

Anyway, after leaving the rehab section, I was sent home. Rehab came to me for a few weeks, then I went to outpatient rehab about 2 or 3 times per week for several months.

Does rehab help? YES!!!! After having such a traumatic surgery, one needs to learn how to do many things a new way and rehab helps strengthen the body. Don't skip rehab!

My surgery was a decade ago and things may have changed since then. I needed rehab because I was seriously weakened by the infection.

Even with rehab, my legs are considerably weaker than they were before scoliosis surgery.

Doodles
10-28-2011, 11:16 PM
I thought the rehab was very useful. I can't imagine having to go home after 8 days in the hospital w/o it. I was at the rehab for another 8 days then. Every situation is different and I had no idea going in if I would have or need it. Glad I did. Janet