Challenges Of Personal Hygiene Care After Spinal Surgery February 11 2015

A patient is recovering from spine surgery and is about to be discharged and the doctor gives them a list of restricted activities. The first one on the list is -

"Do not bend your spine”¹

 

How does a patient take care of their personal hygiene without bending or twisting at the waist?

Personal hygiene may be described as the principle of maintaining cleanliness and grooming of the external body such as toileting, shaving, bathing, and ointment application. Failure to keep up a standard of hygiene can have many implications. Not only is there an increased risk of getting an infection or illness, but there are many social and psychological aspects that can be affected. While recovering from spinal or hip surgery certain activities are to be avoided especially bending of the spine. Using the bathroom or taking care of personal hygiene without the bending or twisting of the spine is very difficult and would require help from another person multiple times per day. Since the average person goes to the bathroom about 6 times a day and spends about 30 minutes minimum a day in the bathroom.² 

A Toilet Aid Could Help

Being dependent on someone to take care of one’s personal hygiene can cause social embarrassment and alienation from everyday activities. If recovering patients received a toilet aid to help them with their recovery would they be more independent and have a higher sense of satisfaction and self confidence and reduce their stress level? We think so.

 For instance, if someone was recovering from ankle surgery and the doctor restricts the patient from putting pressure on their ankle they would send them home with a script or tool such as crutches or a scooter to help them get around and obey the care instructions. Thus all procedures that limit the spine movement such as , spinal or hip procedures should receive a script for a Freedomwand®  or a tool to help them with taking care of their personal hygiene.

 Benefits of Using a Toilet Aid

The benefits to both the hospitals and their patients who receive a personal hygiene tool while the patient is in the hospital are:

  • Patient's ability to remain independent
  • Improved emotional well-being of the patient
  • Potential for shortened rehabilitation time for the patient
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved patient and staff relationship
  • Improved patient outcome
  • Reduction of infections
  • Reductions of admittance due to urological infections 

Being able to take care of one’s personal hygiene can also help reduce the risks of complications after surgery and limit the risk of getting an UTI infection and being readmitted into the hospital. A study that was conducted by Medicare, Workmen’s Compensation, and National Inpatient Sample (NIS) study showed the complications that could arise after spine surgery. The results that they found were that 9.18% of the 1,591 patients contracted an urological issue and out of that 9.18%, 5.5% were UTI issues.³ 

Understanding hygiene care after spinal or hip surgery is important in reducing infections and the overall patient's emotional well-being. Toilet aids or other hygiene aids offered in hospitals would benefit both the hospital and the patient. Help us spread the word, by sharing this article!  

Sources: 

1. http://www.meriter.com/data/content/ortho_spinefusion.pdf

2. http://contractormag.com/bathkitchen/bathroom_habits_survey

3.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3320089/ 

Image: http://blog.timpanogosregionalhospital.com/blog/2014/06/11/preparing-your-home-for-recovery-after-spine-surgery/