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Clinical Images

Lower Extremity Weakness Following Spinal Surgery

Sagger Mawri, MD and Khalid George, MD

December 11, 2015

A 64-year-old woman with history of lumbar compression fracture status post L3-L5 kyphoplasty two weeks prior presented to the emergency department complaining of worsening lower extremity weakness since her spinal surgery. Her symptoms became severe and limited her ability to stand or ambulate. She also endorsed urinary and bowel incontinence. On examination, she demonstrated moderately reduced bilateral lower extremity strength and reduced rectal tone without sensory deficits or clonus. Computed tomography with contrast is obtained. 

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2. Wang, L.-j., Yang, H.-l., Shi, Y.-x., Jiang, W.-m. and Chen, L. (2012), Pulmonary Cement Embolism Associated with Percutaneous Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty: A Systematic Review. Orthopaedic Surgery, 4: 182–189. doi: 10.1111/j.1757-7861.2012.00193.x


Sagger Mawri and Khalid George are PGY-3 internal medicine residents at Henry Ford Hospital