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What Should I Wear After Having a Discectomy?


If you are experiencing spinal disc pain, you are probably not giving much thought to your wardrobe. However, if your doctor recommends a discectomy as the right treatment option for you, you will need to be mindful of what you wear after your procedure. The main reason is to avoid irritating or placing added pressure on the affected area. This article explains what is generally recommended for clothing and accessories after a discectomy.

The Day of Your Discectomy

It is common for a discectomy patient to go home the same day of the surgery, especially if a less invasive
microdiscectomy is performed. This is when you will want to avoid overstraining, bending, turning too much to one side or the other, and stretching excessively. Achieve this goal by wearing items such as:

• Slip-on shoes
• Non-skid slippers
• A comfortable robe for the first few days or so when you will not likely be leaving your home

You may also want to avoid wearing necklaces that require reaching up and back to hook the clasps during your initial recovery and healing period. Even if your discectomy was in the lower back area, reaching too far back in the upper body area can still place some degree of stress on your lumbar spine.

When You Are Home and Getting Up and About Again

Once you are back at home and recovering after your discectomy, you will likely be shifting between daytime clothes you would normally wear and more relaxing evening or night clothes. The general rule of thumb is to opt for loose-fitting clothing for both daytime and nighttime wear. Do not wear anything that is too snug around the surgical site. To avoid movements best avoided until tissues properly heal and spine-supporting muscles are strengthened, it is a good idea to wear:

• Button-down shirts
• Loose pullover tops that don’t require a lot of effort to put on
• Shoes you can easily slip on
• Skirts or pants that can be donned fairly easily without excess strain

You can still wear your everyday jeans, pants, and socks without too much difficulty if you use a specially designed dressing stick. Available from many popular online shopping sites, these devices come with slider kits that allow you to sit down comfortably to ease jeans, pants, and socks on without too much stress and strain.

Other Post-Surgery Essentials

In addition to being mindful of what you wear for the first few weeks after surgery, it may be helpful to have some beneficial accessories handy during your
back surgery recovery time. This will make it easier to perform everyday tasks as your spine and the affected disc area heal. Recommendations in this category include:

• Stool softeners to deal with any post-surgery constipation
• A reusable water bottle
• Handheld reachers or grabbers to get higher-placed items without excessive stretching
• A back scratcher to make it easier to take care of any itches in this area
• Ice packs and/or heating pads to manage any post-surgery discomfort
• A toilet riser to make restroom use easier
• A shower brush with a long handle to avoid excess reaching

Even though discectomy surgery is a common and generally quite successful procedure, a hole is frequently left in the outer wall of the disc. In fact, patients with these large holes in their discs are more than twice as likely to reherniate. Reherniations often require additional surgery or even fusions. Fortunately, there is a new treatment specifically designed to close the large holes that are often left in spinal discs after discectomy surgery. Barricaid is a bone-anchored device proven to reduce reherniations, and 95 percent of Barricaid patients did not undergo a reoperation due to reherniation in a 2-year study timeframe. This treatment is done immediately following the discectomy—during the same operation—and does not require any additional incisions or time in the hospital. 

If you have any questions about the Barricaid treatment or how to get access to Barricaid, ask your doctor or contact us at 844-705-1081.

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