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Complications of Percutaneous Vertebroplasty: A Clinical Study and Literature Review

Lotfinia, Iraj MD; Sayyahmelli, Sima MD

doi: 10.1097/WNQ.0b013e3181eb2919
Original Articles
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Aim Percutaneous vertebroplasty is a safe and effective treatment for patients with severe back pain induced by osteoporotic or neoplastic compression fractures. Although this is a minimally invasive procedure, complications have been reported. Migration of polymethylmethacrylate is the most important complication.

Methods and Materials During a 5-year period, 28 patients (13 men and 15 women mean age 61.7 y) underwent fluoroscopy-guided percutaneous vertebroplasty procedures to treat 30 vertebrae. Vertebroplasty was carried out in 73.7% vertebrae with osteoporotic compression fractures.

Results Half of patients had no leakage, 23.3% of patients had disk space leakage, 20% of patients epidural and foraminal leakage, and 6.7% of patients had venous epidural leaks. There were no deaths or delayed complications. Mean Visual Analogue Scale before treatment was 76.5±8.72 and after treatment was 21.3±1.07, that means vertebroplasty significantly relief the pain. Four patients had radicular pain that completely resolved with rest and conservative treatment.

Conclusions Percutaneous vertebroplasty may have major complications, such as a cement leakage into the epidural spaces, even when carried out by experienced spinal surgeons. Despite the cement leakage percutaneous vertebroplasty-induced complications were rare.

Department of Neurosurgery, Shohada Hospital, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

Reprints: Sima Sayyahmelli, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Shohada Hospital, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran (e-mail: ssayyah@hotmail.com).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.