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Thread: The $64,000 question....just ow does one wipe themselves after fusion to sacrum?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chicago-"land"
    Posts
    157

    The $64,000 question....just how does one wipe themselves after fusion to sacrum?

    I can see the problem. Imagine it visually. I even understand why it's an issue with the inability to bend forward and lack of flexibility from behind and not having long arms like an orangutan.

    I have been practicing sitting very straight on the seat, using baby wipes and trying to reach behind. I've been successful but I don't know how much of my success is due to the fact I still have my L5 disc.

    I think I can safely assume there is no one who will do this for you, so......how is it done?

    Also in another thread I will be adding some questions the inability to straighten both legs at the same time. With ALL due respect for Dr. Gupta, he is WRONG that I can't straighten my legs due to the hip flexor/hamstring issues. I have never been able to straighten my legs at the same time since the day after my first surgery. The day before my surgery, I could.

    But! (or shall I say Butt?) How does a patient wipe themselves?
    Last edited by Chihuahua Mama; 12-17-2014 at 10:01 PM.
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    I think if I'd known this might be a problem before my surgery, I might have had a re-think. But happily, it's not a problem. I'm fused T4 - Sacrum. I can only do it using my left hand though (but you only need one!) I have a left curve.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    San Francicsco Bay Area
    Posts
    127
    How about wiping by reaching through the front but with a backwards wiping motion - that is, starting from the anus and moving back?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Grove City, OH
    Posts
    275
    It took about 3 weeks to give up my 'bottom buddy' wiper. Standing up really improves my ability to reach!
    Peg
    61 yrs old
    75 degree lumbar curve with thoracic kyphosis
    T3 - S1 surgery with Dr. Buchowski in St. Louis, on 10/27/14
    Working on healing in Columbus, Ohio!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    Peggy, standing makes it easier for me too!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    I am fused t4 to the sacrum and remember thinking before surgery that my arms were surely long enough that the tongs wouldn't be necessary. After surgery, i was paranoid about bending or twisting and the tongs with Wipes did the trick. Keep in mind that it will be temporary like so many other things. Throughout the first year or two, as you start putting away grabbers, the sock aide, the elevated toilet, extra seat cushions and pillows, you realize that life is getting back to normal as you regain some flexibility.
    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/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    You will not know for many months what you will be able to do after surgery. I had my second Fusion surgery in 2011. I am finding even now,three years later,
    that there will be things that I can do now that I could not do last year.

    Just take it one day at a time

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    why don't the hospitals have info pamphlets written by
    patients FOR patients...because no matter what the surgeon
    tells you, it is from one patient to another that the real truth
    is told, as far as reality of functioning after surgery.

    just sounds like something that should have been created
    and produced by patients and paid for and distributed by
    the hospitals.

    jess.....& Sparky

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,793
    It's temporary for some, but not for others. It depends on one's length of fusion, weight, age, residual curve(s), etc. If you're fused C2-Sacrum, you have a very high likelihood of not being able to wipe without an aid.

    I've never asked before, but can anyone with a long fusion (i.e., T10 or higher to the sacrum) wipe from the back?

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    San Jose, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    It's temporary for some, but not for others. It depends on one's length of fusion, weight, age, residual curve(s), etc. If you're fused C2-Sacrum, you have a very high likelihood of not being able to wipe without an aid.

    I've never asked before, but can anyone with a long fusion (i.e., T10 or higher to the sacrum) wipe from the back?

    --Linda
    I am fused T6 to S1 and wipe from the back, just like I did before the fusion. I don't need to do any special tricks. I tried to use that bottom buddy for a few times after the surgery not because I needed it, but because I was afraid that I will twist. It was such a gross hussle and I threw it away quickly.
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,160
    Linda,

    I am fused T8-sacrum and can wipe from the back without any aids. I think a lot depends on shoulder flexibility.

    I agree with Melissa that there a lot of things and movements I can do now, at almost 3 years post revision, that I couldn't do at the 2 year mark. The tightness in my back muscles also continues to improve over time.
    Gayle, age 49
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    5/16 6 yrs post-op, 24*T/ 22* L, mild increase in curves, watching

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    570
    I agree that a lot depends on shoulder flexibility, but arm's length is important too. Some people have shorter arms and if you take into consideration that our torsos grow a few inches after the surgery, people with shorter arms might have problems wiping.

    Chihuahua mama, I don't think this is something you should worry about because you are already fused to L5 and I am guessing you will not gain much height after your revision. If you can wipe yourself now, I think that you will be able to do it after you are fused to sacrum. Good luck!
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    83
    I've had the same question. My surgery is in 13 days (gulp). I've told myself that I will have to figure it out When the time comes, but I am concerned about it too.

    Here is another question...for women who still have their periods, what do you do? Do you just have to use pads? I'm nervous about how I will have to handle this. What about cramps? Are they better,worse,the same? I do know that many women get a period right after surgery in the hospital...I'm not looking forward to that. I am just so annoyed to have to deal with this on top of everything else!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,793
    Quote Originally Posted by ksmom0611 View Post
    I've had the same question. My surgery is in 13 days (gulp). I've told myself that I will have to figure it out When the time comes, but I am concerned about it too.

    Here is another question...for women who still have their periods, what do you do? Do you just have to use pads? I'm nervous about how I will have to handle this. What about cramps? Are they better,worse,the same? I do know that many women get a period right after surgery in the hospital...I'm not looking forward to that. I am just so annoyed to have to deal with this on top of everything else!
    Hi... There's a very high likelihood that the surgery will bring on your period. I got mine within the first day postop. You'll need to wear pads, as even if you could navigate a tampon, there's no safe way to ensure it gets changed regularly. I almost never had cramps so can't answer that question.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    El Centro, CA & Baja California, Mexico
    Posts
    193

    Best thing ever to help clean without wiping

    I swear by this, purchase a portable hose that can be attached to the water line into the toilet bowl. It comes with a hook to the tank (all removable) easy to install.

    Do your business, use the water spray to rinse off all stuff into the toilet. Then take TP to pad dry or slightly clean. It can be done for both ends efficiently. No need for help or long clumpsy tongs with tp wrapped around.

    I have had this for my toilet and one at our rental apartment. Wished I had one with me during my 2 months off in St Louis to do shoulder replacement.

    It is just so simple and no brainer. BASICALLI a BIDET without all the gadgets.

    Hope it helps,

    gardenia
    Gardenia
    Baja California, Mexico & El Centro, Ca
    pre-surgery 75 and 89 - post ?
    Dr. Bridwell Nov 27, 2012 @Barnes Jewish @62yrs
    T11 to Sacrum Dural leak at L2 & L3 ccmail4g@gmail.com

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