11 Sep How Long Does it Take To Recover From Vertebroplasty?
Back pain is a common symptom in people across the United States of America. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of people have had back pain at some point in their life. For most this is an acute pain that is caused by a muscle sprain or strain, but for around 10% of Americans, the pain is constant and chronic. Year on year these people struggle with pain – often having to rely on addictive drugs like opioids to relieve their pain. For some surgery is the answer to their prayer, and there are a number of different procedures that are available dependent on the root cause of the problem. One of these procedures is known as a vertebroplasty – an incredibly common spinal procedure. But what is a vertebroplasty and how long does it take to recover from?
What is a vertebroplasty?
For some – back pain may be caused by a fracture of the bones in the spine (known as the vertebrae). If this is the case then you might be offered a vertebroplasty. A vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive (meaning that the entire spine does not need to open up and a very small incision is instead made with a camera inserted into the back to allow surgeons to work). A “cement” material is injected into the vertebrae – increasing its volume and fixing the fracture which has often squashed the bone.
How long will it take to recover from vertebroplasty?
Usually, you will spend a few hours in the recovery room where the medical staff will watch and ensure that the anesthetic (pain relief) you were given during the procedure has worn off. You will usually go home the day of the operation but you won’t be able to drive. This means you will need to arrange transport or have a loved one pick you up from the hospital. But once you are home what should you expect?
- Some pain and soreness in the back are normal and to be expected. The pain is usually at the site of the surgery – you can relieve it with simple painkillers like Ibuprofen or Paracetamol (which will reduce inflammation at the surgery site). You can also try icing the sore area (this should also reduce the inflammation at the surgery site). The pain should go in a few days.
- Back surgery is not the sort of surgery where you will be out of action for a long time – you should get back to your usual day to day life within a few days. However heavy lifting should be avoided (as this may re-injure the back).
- Within a few weeks, you should see a physiotherapist who will give you exercises to get your back moving properly again
- A follow up with the surgeon should also be arranged to make sure there are no complications from the operation.
If you or somebody you know has suffered from a back fracture – a vertebroplasty may be their ticket to a pain-free life – so get in contact with a specialist centre today.