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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


LOPES, Nilo M.  and  LOPES, Vinicius K.. Paraplegia complicating percutaneous vertebroplasty for osteoporotic vertebral fracture: case report . Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2004, vol.62, n.3b, pp.879-881. ISSN 0004-282X.

We report a case of spinal cord and root compression during percutaneous transpedicular polymethylmethacrylate vertebroplasty (PTPV) for a compression fracture due to osteoporosis. Sudden onset of excruciating pain in the distribution of the right sixth intercostal nerve with hyperemia along its path, prompted the interruption of the procedure. Under narcotic sedation the patient was taken to the ICU and 10mg of dexamethasone was administered intravenously. Few hours later she developed paraplegia with preservation of light touch and a CT scan and MRI showed epidural extravasation of polymethylmethacrylate with spinal cord and root compression. Surgical decompression was followed by neurological recovery. The cement could be removed after been thinned out by high speed drill, with microsurgical technique, through a wide three level laminectomy of D5 to D7. Extravasation of cement is commonly encountered in PTPV and most of the time it is asymptomatic. Root compression may require surgical intervention if nonresponsive to steroid treatment. Cord compression is less often seen and requires emergency surgery. The cement does not adhere to the duramater and it can be removed easily.

Keywords : spinal fracture; polymethylmethacrylate; osteoporosis; vertebroplasty; paraplegia.

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