What should I expect as I recover?
The cement used to fix the broken vertebra hardens quickly, within about 15 minutes. As a result, people often find it easier to do daily activities within one week. Pain also decreases rapidly, and most people require less pain medication within two weeks. Despite these improvements, most orthopedists consider that it takes about three months for the bone to heal after kyphoplasty.
Patients who continue to have problems with posture and pain or who have lost muscle tone and strength may need the help of a physiotherapist, such as the physiotherapists at Evidence Sport and Spine. Although every individual recovers at a different pace, as a guidline, patients typically need to attend physiotherapy sessions for four to six weeks.
At Evidence Sport and Spine, the goal of our physiotherapy is to help you safely improve strength and function. Our physiotherapist may use treatments such as heat or ice, electrical stimulation, and massage to help calm your pain. Gentle exercise is used to improve strength of the spine and limbs. We will teach you how to move safely using healthy postures to reduce strain on the healing back. Exercises for the heart and lungs will be included to improve your stamina and help with pain control.
When the original fracture was due to osteoporosis, your physiotherapist will suggest ways to prevent future problems. Patients may be advised on dietary supplements (calcium and vitamin D) to maximize bone health, and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and starting an exercise program, may also be discussed.
Our patients are encouraged to walk and do moderate activity as they recover. However, you should avoid strenuous exertion until we approve resuming normal levels of activity.
As your physiotherapy sessions at Evidence Sport and Spine come to an end, our physiotherapist will help you get back to the activities you enjoy. Ideally, patients are able to resume normal activities. Yet you may need guidance on which activities are safe or how to change the way you go about your activities.
When your recovery is well under way, regular visits to Evidence Sport and Spine will end. We will continue to be a resource, but you will be in charge of doing our exercises as part of an ongoing home program.
Evidence Sport and Spine provides services for physiotherapy in Calgary.
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