After the leg lengthening surgery, you'll go through a rough recovery period. Even with the STRYDE nail, you'll still be in pain, and won't be able to walk for the first week or two. After that, things will get better, but you'll still be more or less stranded at your place of recovery (Airbnb, hotel etc.) for about a month.
Here are some things you can bring or buy, to make that recovery period more enjoyable, in decreasing order of importance:
- Your own painkillers (read more about pain management). For me cannabis worked better than Oxycodone and whatever else I was prescribed. Make sure cannabis is legal where you'll be recovering, or if it's only legal for medical use, try to get a marijuana card.
- Things to keep you entertained: your laptop, books, and a Chromecast. The Chromecast is a very small device that basically lets you take control over any TV, so you can stream anything from your phone to it (e.g. YouTube, Netflix etc.)
- Memory foam mattress topper. This was a game-changer for improving sleep.
- Diet tracking app! This is very important to monitor how much you're eating, because each bone fracture needs 2000 extra caloried per day to recover. Read more on my Diet page. I recomment MyFitnessPal.
- Supplements - see the Diet article.
- If your bathroom doesn't have a handheld shower head, getting one is really useful to be able to wash yourself as you sit in the shower/tub.
- Medical devices you'll need may or may not be provided by the hospital: walker, crutches, canes, urinal. Unfortunately, the most common type of crutch prescribed is the shoulder (axillary) crutch, which is inferior to the forearm/elbow crutch. If you need crutches, get yourself forearm ones. I skipped them and went from walker straight to cane. The HurryCane is great - it's foldable, and it stands up on its own (very useful when opening doors).
- Slanted board, if you do tibias. It will help restore dorsiflexion (your ability tto bring up your toes and flex your ankles) and stretch your calves.
- Some sort of grabber tool can be useful to reach for things when you're in a wheelchair.
- A walker bag if you prefer not to use your pockets, or if you want to carry larger items.
- Pants that slide easily, because you may have skin irritation. Satin pajamas would be good. Try to use shorts whenever practical.
- Detachol for painlessly removing adhesive residue from where the IV went in. Best - shave the top of your hands before the surgery! See the Removing IVs section in the Pain article for more about this.
Anything else you think might be useful? Leave a comment below.