Discharge Instructions for Vertebroplasty

You had a vertebroplasty on the bones in your spine (vertebrae). That means a healthcare provider injected surgical cement into the fractured vertebrae of your spine. This was done to help ease back pain caused by fractured vertebrae. The procedure will also help prevent the fracture from getting worse. Here are some home care instructions for you to follow after the surgery.


  • If a brace was prescribed to you, wear it as directed. You usually don't need to wear the brace at night. And only bend within the limits of your brace.

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

  • Don't drive for 2 days after the procedure, or as directed by your healthcare provider. And never drive while you are taking narcotic pain medicine.

  • Don't do any heavy lifting for 3 months (nothing heavier than 5 pounds). After 3 months, you can slowly increase your lifting to normal unless directed otherwise by your provider.

Home care

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you have side effects.

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

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

  • Have someone help apply an ice pack 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. To make an ice pack, put ice cubes in a plastic bag that seals at the top. Wrap the bag in a clean, thin towel or cloth. Never put ice or an ice pack directly on the skin.

  • Keep your head raised 30° when lying down for 1 to 2 days after the surgery.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provide, or as advised.

Call 911

Call 911 right away if you have:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Trouble controlling your bladder or bowels

  • Trouble walking

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have:

  • Fever of 100.4° (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider

  • Shaking chills

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

  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your legs

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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