(ConservativeHub.com) – It’s not unusual for individuals to develop compression fractures in the lumbar region of their spinal cords. The five vertebral bones located there sustain massive amounts of force related to their role, supporting the upper body while you stand, walk, dance, and take part in other similar activities. The use of medical-grade cement is a standard treatment for compression fractures. However, as one patient recently discovered, that procedure can create an issue of its own — a rare but more dire condition called an intracardiac bone cement embolism.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it can be, depending on early detection and other factors.
The October 7 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine reported on the case of a man who recently suffered from a bone cement embolism. The 56-year-old went to an emergency room after experiencing excruciating pain on the right side of his chest. He also complained of pain that radiated throughout his right shoulder and jawbone when he inhaled.
Here's how a man ended up with a 4-inch piece of cement piercing his heart and right lung: https://t.co/ltXu9cJqsW
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 5, 2021
Perturbed by his symptoms, doctors performed a computed tomography (CT) scan of his chest and discovered a sharp piece of cement in his heart. Measuring about 4 inches by 0.08 inches, further analysis determined the cement had pierced the man’s right atrium and lung.
Surgeons successfully removed the piece of cement that had become dislodged following his prior lumbar procedure. Thankfully, about a month later, he has nearly fully recovered from the embolism.
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