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Discharge Instructions for Vertebroplasty

You had a vertebroplasty on the bones in your spine (vertebrae). That means a doctor injected surgical cement into the fractured vertebrae of your spine. This was done to help relieve back pain caused by fractured vertebrae. The procedure will also help make your spine more stable. Here are some home care instructions for you to follow after the surgery.

Activity

  • If a brace was prescribed to you, wear it as directed. And only bend within the restrictions of your brace.

  • Take short walks. Start by walking for 5 minutes and gradually build up your time and distance.

  • Do not drive for 2 days after the procedure. And never drive while you are taking narcotic pain medicine.

  • Do not do any heavy lifting for 3 months (nothing heavier than 5 pounds). After 3 months, you can gradually increase your lifting to normal.

Home care

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed.

  • Remove the small bandages on your incision after 24 to 48 hours or as directed by your doctor. Often, there are no stitches to be removed.

  • Wait 1 to 2 days before showering or taking a bath. And do not swim in a pool or sit in a hot tub until your doctor tells you it’s OK.

  • Have someone help apply an ice pack or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a thin towel to ease the pain around the incisions. Leave the ice pack in place for 20 minutes, then leave it off for 20 minutes. Pain at the incision sites may last for a few days.

  • Keep your head elevated when lying down for 1 to 2 days following the surgery.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provide, or as advised.

 

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Call 911 right away if you have:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Trouble controlling your bladder or bowels

Otherwise, call your healthcare provider right away if you have:

  • Fever of 100.4 °(38 °C) or higher, or shaking chills

  • Severe pain or increased redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth around the incision sites

  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your legs

 

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