A man who had received a cement injection into damaged vertebrae in his spine almost died a week after his surgery when the cement leaked, hardening into a four-inch piece of concrete that pierced his heart and lungs, a study showed.
The 56-year-old man had just undergone a surgery for kyphoplasty, a spinal procedure in which medical bone cement is injected into the vertebrae to relieve pain from vertebral compression fractures, when he began experiencing severe chest pains on his right side five days later, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
An analysis of the man’s chest revealed a foreign object inside of his heart, prompting emergency surgery.
Doctors found a long, slim piece of hardened concrete, roughly 4 inches long and 0.08 inches wide, piercing his right atrium and right lung.
The patient’s atrium was repaired once the concrete was removed. He has experienced no other post-op complications and was nearly fully recovered a month after the incident, doctors said.