Cement punctures heart of spine surgery patient

Carly Behm -   Print  |
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A 56-year-old man had emergency surgery days after spine surgery after medical cement hardened in his heart, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The man had suffered chest pain and shortness of breath for two days before checking into the ER, according to the Oct. 2 report. A week earlier, he underwent an L5 kyphoplasty with polymethylmethacrylate medical cement.

He underwent emergency surgery after imaging found a foreign object in his heart. A 10 cm long sharp cement embolism was perforating the right atrium and puncturing the right lung. The man's embolus was removed, his heart was repaired and he was nearly recovered after a month.

Cement embolisms are a complication of kyphoplasty since cement can leak into the circulatory system, harden and embolize, the report said.

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