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Thread: choosing a chair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    65

    choosing a chair

    My surgery is now only 5 weeks away, I can't believe it. I am trying to get prepared, Christmas shopping already! Actually, it feels really good to get what I can out of the way. I am having trouble picking the right chair for post-op recovery. I have a choice between a cushy recliner that has a heater and a massager or would a soft high back office type chair be a better choice? Any advice would be great!

    35 year old mother of two
    60* thoracic curve
    surgery 10/09/06
    Dr. Kebaish, Johns Hopkins

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    35

    post-op chairs

    Hi- If you are going to be wearing a brace, I wouldn't recommend a soft chair
    it's really hard to get up. After my surgery I had to sit in a firm chair, like a kitchen chair. You'll find out by trial and error,all it takes is getting swallowed by a recliner one time . Wish you all the best...see you around the boards. Jan
    1982- Scoliosis fusion with Harrington rod T3-L4
    1998- revision surgery for flatback syndrome: fusion extended to sacrum, 2 discs removed/replaced with
    titanium spacers, 2 new short rods attached to Harrington rod, 6 pedicle screws
    2005-found out one screw was broken-surgeon said fusion is solid and not to worry
    2004 to now: neck, shoulder and hip pain, degenerative disc disease in neck, herniated and bulging discs in neck, bone spurs, arthritis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    Personally, I could not use the recliner. I used our office chair instead. It was cushioned on the seat and back and the ability to raise and lower the chair was such a plus! Initially, I also used a flat foot rest while sitting in the chair as I set the chair at a higher level because it was easier to get in and out of. As my back healed, I was able to set the chair lower and stopped using the foot rest. To this day, recliners are not comfortable for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    I didn't have any furniture I could sit in once I got home. The recliner was too low and the reclining mechanism was too "jerky". I sank in the other furniture and it caused my hips and back to hurt. I purchased a LA Z BOY lift chair and it was a God send. It is still my favorite chair even 3 1/2 yrs post op. I looked at the chairs at the medical supply shops but they didn't seem to be as nice a quality as the LA Z BOY chair and plus the chair I purchased just looks like a regular piece of furniture. I get in this chair when I have pain and it keeps me from taking pain meds...it must be the technology behind this chair. I love it. Once the chair is lifted it takes 45 seconds to get back down and in a layed back reclining position. The smoothness of the mechanism meant a lot to me during recovery...unlike pulling a handle on a recliner and it jerking you backwards.

    Kindest Regards,
    Gail

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,952
    In the early recovery period, I think most people say that they prefer an upright chair without too much padding.

    --Linda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    313
    Hi Dori-girl,
    I like my soft high backed office chair the best. (Adjustable for height). Second best are hard kitchen chairs, but if the back is wood, you need a pillow for your back. Our couch and recliner are still too low for me 6 weeks post-op. The lift chair sounds good if that is a financial option.

    Deb

    6 weeks post-op from posterior surgery

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,Calif.
    Posts
    420
    I spent the first week in bed with pillows propping me up a bit. I could watch T.V. and drink (with a straw.) in that position. (I got up to be with the family at meal times when I could.) I then moved to my recliner that has a fairly firm back, and an easy to reach and use leg lift lever and my heating pad on it. I didn't have a brace and that might make a difference. I can't sit on my couches unless I have a couple of pillows behind me to help bring the back of the couch forward toward me for support, they are deep. I went and bought a leg rest and that helps a lot. I got tired of the recliner. Heat is a great idea. I still use it to loosen up in the mornings. I have a pillow behind me when using my office chair.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    First surgery I used a LA Z BOY, with a cushion for lumbar support.

    This last time I bought a slightly padded office chair, and put a cushion for lumbar support and a pillow to make it soft on my back and also b/c I don't have long legs. It's really amazing for me. I ddn't use my LA Z BOY once, I prefer sitting upright.

    I think it is you who will try and see what you like, but both would be good, depending on what you want to do or if you're tired(the LA Z BOY is good to relax more).
    35 y/old female from Montreal, Canada
    Diagnosed with scoliosis(double major) at age 12, wore Boston brace 4 years at least 23 hours a day-curve progressed
    Surgery age 26 for 60 degree curve in Oct. 1997 by Dr.Max Aebi-fused T5 to L2
    Surgery age 28 for a hook removal in Feb. 1999 by Dr.Max Aebi-pain free for 5 years
    Surgery age 34 in Dec.2005 for broken rod replacement, bigger screws and crosslinks added and pseudarthrosis(non union) by Dr. Jean Ouellet

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    88
    I have a Lazy-boy recliner and a L shaped microfiber couch. When i first got out of surgery the only thing that was comfortable was my bed with pillows behind me or under my knees. Now the couch is very comfortable for me but with pillows to support my back. However it is not comfortable for me to sit directly upright, it is only comfortable for me to lean somewhat back. I can get into the recliner but if it rocks too much then it will hurt me.

    I guess it just depends on what is comfortable for you. You will not know until after surgery. I dont know if i would suggest buying a expensive chair b/c maybe it wont work for you.

    The heat sounds nice but i dont know about the massage part. That might hurt after surgery. Your muscles and everything in your back will be very tender and sensitive. Also with the heat my dr said no heat or cold due to the healing process. it made me very upset b/c both of them felt so good.
    I would check with your dr first.
    Good luck..
    Sarah 25 yrs old- Married with three english bulldogs

    1995-Surgery for scoliosis fused T3-L3.
    2000-Surgery for Rod breaking, relaced rod and took out upper rods.
    March 2005-Surgery for removal of all rods.
    August 2005-Fusion of T10-T11 due to crack in fusion, Rods put back in.
    August 2006- Surgery for fusion from L4 to sacrum.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    115
    I just used my L-shaped couch to sit/lounge on- still do. It has a chaise built in. I couldn't decide if I wanted a recliner/needed a recliner so I opted to not buy one- and glad I didn't get one. I have found that they are still too hard for me to get out of or get them recline as I am rather short. Everyone is different- just keep in mind your height as you will want your feet firmly planted on the floor for ease of mobility.
    Angela
    29 y/o f w/76 degree curve.Surgery done on June 26th, A/P, rods, instumentaion, rib removal- now 18 degrees!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    I had a lumbar fusion so I needed to keep as much pressure/weight off my low back as possible. We bought a firm recliner, not one of those ones with all the gadgets men die for. This is a very simple, firm recliner. It has only one lever and that is so it can recline all the way back into a flat position. This was by far the best investment I made with regard to my surgery. I was in that chair most of the day and it was great not having to stay in my bed the whole time. If people wanted to visit with me, I'd hang out in my living room in my chair. If I got tired, I would recline all the way back in my chair and take a nap.
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408

    P.s.

    forgot to mention that it is microfiber which is one of the best materials in the world. It stays cool, and it's easy to slide out of or turn in
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

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