Discharge Instructions for Kyphoplasty
Fractures in the bones of the spine (vertebrae) can cause severe back pain and loss of movement. You had a procedure called kyphoplasty to cement the fractures in your spine, restore the height of the vertebrae, and help relieve pain. Using image-guided X-rays, your doctor made 1 or 2 small cuts (incisions) in your back for each vertebra treated. The doctor put a balloon on each side of the broken vertebra and inflated the balloons until they expanded the right amount. Then the balloons were removed. The spaces created by the balloons were filled with orthopedic cement. This gave strength and stability to your vertebra. The following are instructions to help you care for your back when you are at home.
- Take your medicine exactly as directed.
- Remove the small bandages on your incision 24 to 48 hours after the surgery.
- Don't shower or soak in a bathtub for 1 to 2 days after the surgery.
- Use an ice pack or bag of frozen peas-or something similar-wrapped in a thin towel to reduce the swelling and pain around incision sites. Put the ice pack on the area for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes. Repeat as needed.
- Wear your brace, if you were told to do so by your doctor. And to help stay flexible, bend as much as the brace allows you to.
- For the first 1 to 2 days after the surgery, keep your head raised up when you are lying down.
- Take short walks. Start by walking for 5 minutes at a time. Then gradually build up your time and distance.
- Don't drive for 2 days after surgery. And never drive while taking opioid pain medicine.
- Ask your healthcare provider when you can begin lifting objects again. Ask him or her about any weight limits for lifting.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your doctor.
When to seek medical attention
Call 911 right away if you have any of the following:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Otherwise, call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
- Increased redness, swelling, drainage, or warmth around the incision sites
- Severe pain at the incision site
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your legs
- Fever above 100.4?F (38.0?C) or shaking chills