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Bizarre surgery side-effect: cement injected into spine leaks, hardens into concrete in man’s heart

Man had had a procedure a week earlier in which doctors injected a special type of cement into damaged vertebrae, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors removed a four-inch piece of concrete from a man’s heart.
Doctors removed a four-inch piece of concrete from a man’s heart.
New England Journal of Medicine

After two days of chest pain and shortness of breath, a man went to the emergency room.

Happens all the time. Only this time it wasn’t a heart attack. It was a four-inch piece of concrete piercing his heart and right lung, a bizarre side effect of a surgical procedure he’d had, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

One week earlier, the 56-year-old man had undergone kyphoplasty, a procedure that treats spinal injuries by injecting a special type of cement into damaged vertebrae, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

That cement leaked into the man’s system, hardened into concrete and traveled to his heart — a rare complication of the procedure.

The man was rushed to surgery. Surgeons removed the piece of conrete and repaired the damage to his heart, according to the report, which said the man was “nearly recovered” a month after the surgery, with no complications.

Read more at USA Today.