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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 incisions in your back for each vertebra treated. The doctor inserted a balloon on each side of the broken vertebra and inflated them until they expanded to the desired height. Then the balloons were removed. The spaces created by the balloons were filled with orthopedic cement, giving 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. Apply the ice pack 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 elevated when 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.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (about the weight of a gallon of milk) for 3 months. After 3 months, you may be ready to increase lifting and return to normal. But speak with your doctor before doing this.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your doctor.
Call 911 right away if you have any of the following:
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
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