Percutaneous vertebroplasty of a myelomatous compression fracture in the presence of previous posterior instrumentation

Report of two cases

Indro ChakrabartiDepartments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

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Allen W. BurtonDepartments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

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Ganesh RaoDepartments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

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Iman Feiz-ErfanDepartments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

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Roman HlatkyDepartments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

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Laurence D. RhinesDepartments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

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Ehud MendelDepartments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

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✓ The authors report the use of percutaneous transpedicular vertebroplasty performed using polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) in two patients. These men (53 and 57 years old) had previously undergone open surgery and posterior instrumentation to treat myelomatous compression fractures. Both patients presented with acute back pain that manifested after minor activities. Kyphotic wedge fractures were diagnosed at T-11 in one case and at L-1 in the other. Both patients were treated at other hospitals with laminectomy and instrumented fusion; multiple myeloma was diagnosed after surgery. The patients experienced severe, recalcitrant, and progressive pain; on referral, they were found to have persistent kyphosis. Multiple myelomatous lesions of the spine were seen in one case and in the other the L-1 fracture represented the only site of disease. Percutaneous vertebroplasty was performed by injecting PMMA into the anterior third of the compressed vertebral body. Both patients experienced a 50% reduction in pain immediately after treatment; 3 months later both were walking and reported minimal back pain while undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. Three years after surgery one patient reported no back pain and no progressive instability of the spine. Four years after surgery the other patient remains pain free, ambulatory, and with overall disease remission.

Percutaneous vertebroplasty provided effective analgesia in these two patients with progressive back pain despite posterior stabilization. In both cases, the anterior column was effectively stabilized. A much larger operative intervention with its attendant risks of morbidity was avoided. In addition, subsequent aggressive medical treatment was well tolerated.

Abbreviations used in this paper:

AP = anteroposterior; MDACC = M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; PMMA = polymethyl-methacrylate; VAS = visual analog scale; VB = vertebral body.
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