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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Vertebroplasty (VP) is a procedure to fix your broken vertebrae. Your vertebrae are the bones in your back that are linked together to form your spine. Your vertebrae help your spine and body support your weight. Your spine surrounds your spinal cord that contains your nerves. Vertebroplasty is done to treat vertebral compression fractures. A vertebral compression fracture is a crack or break in one or more bones in your spine. When your vertebrae is broken, it may collapse and lose its height. Vertebral compression fractures are normally caused by osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones) and tumors (growths). You may get a vertebral compression fracture from an injury, such as a fall.
- Vertebral compression fractures may be very painful. You may have changes in your mood and trouble doing your normal activities. The shape of your spine may change, and shorten your height. During VP, bone cement is used to fill the breaks in your vertebrae. Having VP may decrease your pain and make your vertebrae stronger. VP may help straighten your spine and increase your height. VP also may help increase your movement and ability to do your daily activities.
- Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be given to help prevent an infection caused by germs called bacteria.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Treating osteoporosis may decrease your risk of further vertebral compression fractures. Ask you caregiver for more information about osteoporosis and how to best treat it.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
- You have worsening pain, even after taking your medicine.
- You have increased trouble walking or moving around.
- You have pain in your ribs or lower back.
- You have sudden trouble talking.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your procedure area becomes red, warm, and swollen.
- You have drainage from the area your procedure was done.
- You are unable to move one or both of your arms.
- You are unable to move one or both of your legs.
- You are urinating less than usual, or not at all.
- You suddenly cannot think clearly.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.