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Thread: How long did you use a walker after your surgery?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Posts
    158

    How long did you use a walker after your surgery?

    Hi all,

    My surgery was January 23rd; I've been home since January 30th.

    I've been using a walker since about the 3rd day in the hospital; more so since I got home, where I have two walkers -- one downstairs (where the kitchen and living room are) and one upstairs (where the bathroom, bedroom, and my computer room are).

    My husband is not happy that the walkers seem to be destroying the floors, so I'm wondering about how much longer I might need to use them. Initially the hospital supplied me with a walker to take home that had the wheels on the back legs instead of the front legs. With this design, I had to lift the walker, move it forward a bit, then take a step with each foot. The second walker is a loaner from one of my husband's students whose mother no longer walks at all; it has the wheels on the front legs rather than the back legs, which enables me to simply move the walker forward constantly rather than pick it up, move it, then take two steps forward. [The physical therapist that was sent to work with me at home told me that the hospital-supplied walker had been put together wrong, and fixed that one so that those wheels are now also on the front legs rather than the back legs.]

    The only way I can use these walkers without having the back legs get dragged over the floor is to either (a) always hold the back legs off the floor so they won't scratch it, or (b) return to the motion of picking walker up to move it forward and then taking 2 steps. What do you all do? Has anybody modified the walker so that it won't scratch your floors? If so, what did you or your family member do to fix it?

    The physical therapist I saw while still an inpatient predicted that I would be using a walker for 2 weeks. The first of those 2 weeks is almost up, but I still don't feel very stable when walking. My husband thinks I should switch to a cane instead; right now I only use the cane for going up and down stairs (which I have to do 4 to 5 or more times each day).

    I'd welcome any suggestions you all might have.

    -- Thanks,
    Mary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,120
    Quote Originally Posted by mdtaffet View Post
    Hi all,

    My surgery was January 23rd; I've been home since January 30th.

    I've been using a walker since about the 3rd day in the hospital; more so since I got home, where I have two walkers -- one downstairs (where the kitchen and living room are) and one upstairs (where the bathroom, bedroom, and my computer room are).

    My husband is not happy that the walkers seem to be destroying the floors, so I'm wondering about how much longer I might need to use them. Initially the hospital supplied me with a walker to take home that had the wheels on the back legs instead of the front legs. With this design, I had to lift the walker, move it forward a bit, then take a step with each foot. The second walker is a loaner from one of my husband's students whose mother no longer walks at all; it has the wheels on the front legs rather than the back legs, which enables me to simply move the walker forward constantly rather than pick it up, move it, then take two steps forward. [The physical therapist that was sent to work with me at home told me that the hospital-supplied walker had been put together wrong, and fixed that one so that those wheels are now also on the front legs rather than the back legs.]

    The only way I can use these walkers without having the back legs get dragged over the floor is to either (a) always hold the back legs off the floor so they won't scratch it, or (b) return to the motion of picking walker up to move it forward and then taking 2 steps. What do you all do? Has anybody modified the walker so that it won't scratch your floors? If so, what did you or your family member do to fix it?

    The physical therapist I saw while still an inpatient predicted that I would be using a walker for 2 weeks. The first of those 2 weeks is almost up, but I still don't feel very stable when walking. My husband thinks I should switch to a cane instead; right now I only use the cane for going up and down stairs (which I have to do 4 to 5 or more times each day).

    I'd welcome any suggestions you all might have.

    -- Thanks,
    Mary
    Hi Mary...

    I ended up using a walker for about 3 months, much longer than I had planned. I finally figured out that my problem was that I was just uncomfortable with the cane in my left hand (which is where it needed to be, as I had some right leg weakness). Once I put my mind to getting use to the cane, I was able to get rid of the walker. If you need/want to continue using your walker, I would recommend putting tennis balls on the back legs. There are all sorts of types available, and they're pretty easy to install. You can find a bunch at Amazon:

    Tennis balls for walkers

    If you're using the walker when you walk outside, the tennis balls aren't a great option. I ended up putting gliders on mine:

    Gliders

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    Mary i used A walker for 1 month but for safey my 1st couple days back to school i used my walker. so everyone whould now to be careful with me. but the befit of it was everyone offered to open the classrooms doors for me. But the 1st day was a bit crazy because the high school secerty whound't let my big sister bring me my pain pill. my sister was trying to tell her i was on a walker.
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Mary-- I didn't use a walker at all. My surgeon doesn't like them, I think because people tend to pitch forward a little as they walk with them. I did use a cane just a little, but I was only supposed to use it to help me going up and down stairs. I used it a little more than that (wink)... When I went for walks outside in our hilly and gopher-holey 5-acre lot, just in case I'd start to lose my balance, and also for "crowd-control" in places where there were lots of people-- it sort of gave them a "heads up" to not walk too close to me. Anyway, I did fine without a walker, although I took it pretty slowly around the house for awhile.
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    west midlands, UK
    Posts
    152
    I didnt use a walker.
    I dont know whether things are done differently here in England but I dont hear of many people using a walker after their surgery.
    Fused T2-L4 with costoplasty on 3/11/10

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lilburn, GA
    Posts
    201
    I used a walker while in the hospital and for about two hours after I got home from the hospital. After that, the only time I used a walker, for the first 4-6 weeks, was when I went out in public. My mother suggested I use it since I was terrified of being bumped into and she said people would give me a wide berth if I walked with it. I did, complete with pained face, and no one came near me ^^
    50 years old!!!!!
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace 1976-77
    Original curve 36 degrees ( measured in the 70s)
    Advanced to 61 degrees 01/2011
    Surgery 07/11/2011
    Fused T1-L2 (curve now in the 20s!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    197
    I used it for maybe a week and spent most of that time b*tching about it and trying to shove it out of my way. I never put on the brace they sent me home with either (but I did buy a lovely corset and wore that a few hours a day when walking/standing).

    Roger that on the tennis balls for inside the house.
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707

    I used my mother-in-law's walker which had tennis balls on the legs so it didn't scratch our wooden floors at ball.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

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