This procedure is utilised to relieve the pain of compression fractures. It is a minimally invasive procedure, besides relieving pain it can be used to strengthen weakened vertebral bodies and prevent further fractures.
The procedure is undertaken under general anaesthetic, under image guidance the needle is positioned into the effected vertebral body. A small amount of orthopaedic cement is injected into the vertebra. The cement rapidly hardens. Several hours later it is possible to mobilise.
Your Hospital Stay
On average patients will require 2 – 3 nights in hospital. On return to the ward you will be encouraged to drink and eat as soon as you are awake enough. You may be required to lie flat for several hours, after this time you will be able to sit and lie however you are comfortable.
You will be seen by the physiotherapist who will help you commence mobilising as soon as possible. The following day you will be encouraged to be as independent as allows, i.e. washing and dressing.
During your stay you will be seen by the clinical nurse specialist daily, Monday to Friday and she will be able to answer any queries or concerns.
On discharge you will be given analgesia. It is advisable that you continue taking your analgesia for at least 1 week post discharge. With most analgesia it is advisable to take a laxative as well as all analgesia has a constipating side effect. If you require further medications your GP should be able to write a prescription or your consultant in your follow up appointment will be able to prescribe further medication.
Prior to discharge you need to be as independent as you were pre surgery, if not better. You will be assessed mobilising up and down stairs safely.
When sitting a high backed chair is preferable to a low sofa. Initially sitting maybe uncomfortable, it would be advisable to limit sitting to 20 – 30 minutes at a time.
You will be encouraged to mobilise as much as you like.
Driving: This is at your surgeon’s discretion; as long as you are comfortable to perform an emergency stop safely you may drive. Some discomfort in the effected area may limit you. You are able to be a passenger in a car post procedure. Sit in the passenger seat, seat reclined and a cushion for support if more comfortable. If the journey is greater than 45 minutes have a break, stretch your legs at regular intervals.
Flying: This is at your surgeon’s discretion. You should be able to fly within a week. When flying it is advisable to recline your seat and regularly walk up and down the gangway.
Your consultant will advise you on this. If possible avoid public transport. If you do need to use the underground travel at quiet times and avoid rush hour. If you are in a sedentary job regularly stand and walk around. If you have an active job you may require a longer period off work and consider lighter duties on your return.
Walking is initially the best exercise for you, each day increase the amount of walking you undertake. Return to your normal exercise regime gradually.
Do not lift anything over 3 Kg in weight. No bending and no twisting until advised otherwise.
Your wounds will be covered with a large dressing initially. This will be reduced before your discharge. You will have small puncture wounds; these should heal within a week after this time it is okay to get this area wet.
All information given is guidelines and may vary from patient to patient.