Although the general complication rate for vertebroplasty is low, neural compression and thermal damage have been related to the use of polymethyl-methacrylate cement. This study focuses on the risk of thermal tissue damage after vertebroplasty. In this study, cavities were created by a transpedicular approach in the vertebral bodies (L3, L4, and L5) of four milk goats, and polymethyl-methacrylate cement was injected. In three locations (the bone-cement interface, the epidural space, and the disc space) the temperature was measured in regular intervals after injection of the cement. The mean injected volume was 0.8 ml, which accounted for a 22% volume fraction. The mean peak temperature of the bone-cement interface was 44.6 degrees C, while the maximum temperature at the epidural space and disc space was 37.0 and 37.5 degrees C, respectively. The local temperature measured after in vivo vertebroplasty did not reach values that are known to cause tissue necrosis.
Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.