A man went to the emergency room after experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath for two days. According to a report published on Saturday in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine, this man had a 4-inch piece of cement piercing his heart and right lung.
The Cement Leaked Out
A week before, the 56-year-old man had undergone another type of surgery known as kyphoplasty. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the procedure treats spine injuries by injecting a special kind of cement into damaged vertebrae.
That cement got into the man’s system, hardened, and made its way to his heart. The man was rushed to surgery after doctors in the emergency room determined that a foreign object caused his chest pain. According to the report, surgeons removed the “sharp” piece of cement and repaired the damage to his heart.
Cement leakage into the body is a well-known but uncommon complication of kyphoplasty. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, complications occur in less than 2% of brittle bone cases. The man had also “nearly recovered” a month after the surgery, according to the report, with no other complications.
Kyphoplasty involves injecting special cement into your vertebrae, as well as creating space for the treatment with a balloon-like device (balloon vertebroplasty). Kyphoplasty can restore the height of a damaged vertebra and may also relieve pain.
The effectiveness of kyphoplasty, like that of vertebroplasty, is being debated in the medical community. For cancer-damaged vertebrae or certain spinal fractures, doctors may recommend kyphoplasty. Most of the time, bone weakness (osteoporosis) has caused the vertebrae to compress or collapse, resulting in pain or a hunched posture.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, the following are the risk of Kyphoplasty:
- Increased back pain
- Tingling, numbness or weakness because of nerve damage
- Allergic reactions to chemicals used with X-rays to help guide the doctor
- Cement leaking out of position
You may face other risks, depending on your specific medical condition.
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